Kalunga Line

drifting out to sea.
Far, far away
from all that is familiar
and known to me,
floating on the sheerest of silk
of aquamarine.

O, the wonder
of being unseen,
in the vast greatness
of this green-blue sea.
Gently being tossed
from side to side,
serenaded by lapping waves
with a soothing lullaby –
coaching, calling me
Sleeping Beauty to be.

Rude awakening!
Crushing waves thundering down,
pushing flailing limbs and legs
deeper and deeper underground,
spiraling body, soul and mind
to the darkest recesses,
ever pushing closer to the Kalunga Line.

“Kalunga” is the Kikongo word for “threshold between worlds”. For people of Africa who ended up in the slave trade ports of New Orleans, the Kalunga Line was the Atlantic Ocean. This line became known as the line under the ocean where the living became the dead and the only way back to life was to recross the line.


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