Maxwell GS CC
every red light is a god / what I mean is / there’s a reason I’m always early / I plan for delays / for divine intervention trying to keep me away from tragedy / what I mean is / once / we were going to the King’s Buffet for dinner / & my youngest brother distracted us / kept us from leaving home when we were supposed to leave home / & when we finally made it to the restaurant / a truck had driven through the back of the building / something about a seizure / or maybe sleeping / the point is / had we been fifteen minutes earlier / we would have been in the building / enveloped in chaos / & my mother in the parking lot / looks at my brother / who must have been eight at the time / reaches down & hugs him / thanks him / for saving us / & I think about Ganesh / how some call him the remover of obstacles / how he is also the placer of obstacles / how sometimes we need something in our path / to lead us to the right destination / & so when my car battery dies / I think / someone wants me to stay put / & once / there was a snowstorm coming in / & my father tried to get me to stay home for one more day / but I was stubborn / & persistent / & underestimated nature / so I left anyways / started the first half of my five hundred mile trek / got caught in the storm / the pileup along that stretch of I-95 in Virginia / January 2021 / the black ice paving the highway / downed trucks at every mile marker / I took an exit out of desperation / & out of sheer luck / & the goodwill of a stranger / I made it to my hotel / hungry & tired / with a half tank of gas after eleven hours on the road / the point is / even then / I still made it out / I still think someone was watching me / I try not to doubt my father’s intuition anymore / he’s always been more attuned to the world / than I have / he speaks to ghosts / & they listen / when I speak to ghosts / I’m not even sure they hear me / the truth is / there is so much I cannot control / & if I can believe god is behind it / some greater universe power / the moon even / I sleep better at night / I move through the world / lighter / like incense / I’m not saying I know there’s a god / only that they’ve come to me / on highways / when all I’m trying to do / is get home
Jessica Nirvana Ram is an Indo-Guyanese poet and essayist. She is the 2022-23 Stadler Fellow in Literary Arts Administration. Jessica completed her MFA at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and received her BA from Susquehanna University. Her work–about inheritance, expectations, and radical self love–appears in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Hayden's Ferry Review, HAD, and Honey Literary, among others. Jessica is a Pushcart nominee and currently a poetry reader at Okay Donkey Mag. Find her @jessnirvanapoet on Twitter.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.