Shawn Anto


cut open this flesh, you release
a haunting for weeks, a trauma so pure
there, memory goes, explosive
making a mess of me.

dilating eyes, spilling juices
of history all over white floors
and white spaces, what did eye
envision, but this slicing open
of thought upon thought of what
I really think of this journey.

America, land of the disrupted
my home smelling of coconut and fury
a flower to the God, I have trouble
forming a relationship with, if I could
remember what my ribs looked like
before I bled out with this laughter of
English-speaking people, calling me other
I swear I know the name for turtle now
I swear I can pray faster than it took
me to understand how I fit into this
space, filled with blank-white stares
cannot care for myself without
remembering how different I am
have become, will remain, in this
space, every space, cut me open
and reveal the shame of youth
before, and now, and now, and—


Return to Fall Issue Volume 11.1




Shawn Anto is from Delano, California. He’s originally from Kerala, India. He received his B.A. in English & Theatre at CSU Bakersfield. He currently lives in Harlem pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. His writing has been featured or is forthcoming in Reed Magazine, O:JA&L, Mojave Heart Review, and elsewhere.