Listen to “The Swell” and “21 Things My Illness is Not,” read by The Blanket Sea Team.


The Swell

my thoughts
+++gather and swell
as days slink, snake
+++one into the other

they bulge, take shape
+++like balloon animals
a quivering panda
+++a righteous lion

they dance
+++in a circus ring
in the middle
+++of my living room

chase each other in circles
+++with abandon
gain speed
+++eventually land

at my feet
while the treetops
+++framed by a window

drag my eyes upwards
+++to watch a smudged sunset,
a blue moon
+++my hands run

through a blanket
+++of memories
pluck the forgotten,
+++clutch the ripest

my body remembers
+++bare toes of childhood
sinking into the comfort of clover,
+++a face open to anything


21 Things My Illness is Not

a phase
+++a choice
++++++an inconvenience
a ruse
+++a hoax
++++++an expense
a curse
+++an excuse
a blip
+++bad luck
++++++a defense
a stunt
+++an option
++++++an embarrassment
a shame
+++a pity
++++++a liability
++++++just a figment of my imagination



Born in northern India, Moni Brar now lives on unsurrendered territories of the Treaty 7 region and Syilx Okanagan Nation. Her writing explores the interrelation of time, place and identity in the immigrant experience, diasporan guilt, intergenerational trauma, and colonization. She believes art contains the possibility of healing. Her work appears in PRISM, Passages NorthHobart, Vallum, Existere, and others.