Ami J. Sanghvi
Monochromatic Oblivion: Fractalization (A Continuum)
Cutting the Tree
After the storm, my father and I investigate the scraping that had haunted the house while the typhoon lashed Manila for days. The culprit was the rambutan tree that had dared extend its trunk past its prison plot. Shouting an apology to the duwendes out in the blank air, we shake it first and the leaves fall as the rain's afterthought. The thick body bends toward us for a few inches, then recoils to sound a gong against the galvanized sheets. My father asks me to fetch the saw and rope.
My father is pleased because my hands are no longer idle, after making the week my sabbath. I am a version of a carpenter; I transform the wood. Soon this house will be like the fruit-bearing tree, and the work will reside in the minds of their creators.
The Bible says the body is a temple, there is shelter for the spirit. / The body, it worships in labor. / The house, the body of a home. / O temple, our tenuous tenement, make yourself known. Can you stand as the Earth spins to a new age?
We build around what we want to remember. I am dodging the hail of fruit resembling sea creatures.
Essence of the tree flying as sawdust,
Sudden and gift-like
Our own version of first snow
Ami J. Sanghvi (he/they) is an Indian-American, non-binary, queer author, artist, designer, boxer, Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist, and recent graduate from the California Institute of the Arts Creative Writing M.F.A. program. He is a poetry editor for Wrongdoing Magazine, fiction editor for Decolonial Passage, and photographer for AsianZine, as well as the co-founder and co-editor of Gutslut Press. His work has recently appeared in So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, Inverted Syntax, Humana Obscura, I Hope You’ll Still Love Me: A South Asian LGBTQIA+ Anthology, Masalazine, and several other publications and exhibitions. His poems were also published in Lupercalia's VULCANALIA '21 anthology, for which he was a featured author.