Amnesia

Essah Cozett 

You taste like ginger,
freshly gathered from
my grandmother’s garden.

Behind our brick house
she buried seeds from  
her decaying home.

Didn’t you know that 
she too was transplanted 
after the war. 

After the soldiers 
cut her bloodline,
she pursued a new plot.

Her passion fruit roots 
perished in that foreign land.
No soil was shore.

Have you ever tried potting 
paradise? Vines sometimes 
grow between barbed wire.

Sometimes boundaries impart 
new beginnings that still
carry spores of the past. 

Destruction uproots
umbilical cords,
leaving spirits homeless.

We all desire to be 
home, but battles 
harvest displacement.

Nowhere to repair.
Nowhere to return.
Nowhere to rebuild.

Somewhere across the
Atlantic Ocean, salt 
desiccated her memory.

I only have poems
to share lessons she
taught me as a girl.

Back when her garden 
was full of ginger and 
she would make me tea.

They say honey heals,
and you have brought 
her back to me. 

We must water her 
seeds buried beyond 
Bensonville and believe.

We must propagate 
before we decay. 
I can taste her last words.

Essah Cozett is currently a Doctoral Caribbean Literature and Languages student at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. She is a first-generation Liberian-American, born and raised in Georgia. Her poetry explores African influences in the Caribbean and Latin America women’s empowerment, identity, and spirituality.

Cozett’s poems have been published in several print and online publications, including Moko Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Tonguas, Odradek, and The Odyssey Online.

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