I am a series of long sentences drawn out in the cold. The blades of winter this year have been sharper than most, when the season quietly crept up and was lost before we were able to take stock of the snow and atmospheric cadence entirely. The last term of teaching ends this year in December, after which I lose my job. Nobody speaks Latin these days, and the course committee decided not to provide the department with any grant. It was obvious, I thought, because I was quite literally the only full-time professor in the department, with two students who studied Latin as an elective and not as a core module.
I always told my students, “Never use Latin in the middle of a sentence. Begin in Latin— or end in Latin. Show the language some solid ground, a beginning or an end.” Here, out in a park full of chrysanthemums and autumn foliage, feeding crumbs of bread to birds, I seem to float away elsewhere, to a different continent. Why do we demand of language— why does language demand nothing back? I am a series of long sentences drawn out in the cold, formed in forgotten vocabulary.
Sneha Subramanian Kanta is a GREAT scholarship awardee, and has earned a second postgraduate degree in literature from England. Her poem “At Dusk With the Gods” won the Alfaaz (Kalaage) prize. Her work has been published in Figroot Press, Dirty Paws poetry, Longleaf Review, and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of Parentheses Journal, a literary initiative that straddles hybrid genres across coasts and climes. She loves horses and autumn.