My Favorite Place
Shilpa Kamat

~from Memoir of a Hippie Cyborg

You’ll rust, they all warn
eyes bulging when I say
how I slipped 
my copper forearm 
onto soil fresh with rain
beneath the redwoods–

I smile     move on
They’ll never understand
how the sun and the rust 
how the elements creep
into my memory    bone 
to machine to slug-paced 

in the forest     I listen 
to birds       lean back
against the ancient pines
walk seventy miles uphill 
at dusk to look at Venus

watching bats swoop swiftly 
past me    as I climb    aware     
at times    of a cougar quietly 
watching   me pass

wondering if they see
what I know: that I 
am part machine   but 
of the earth as well.

Shilpa Kamat (she/her) is a poet, educator, and healing arts practitioner based in Northern California. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and has been published by a range of magazines,  including Strange Horizons, Kweli, On Spec, sPARKLE & bLINK, Colossus anthologies, Jaggery, and SAND, and is forthcoming in Fantasy Magazine and The Margins. Her chapbook, Saraswati Takes Back the Alphabet, was a  finalist for the Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize and was published by Newfound. You can read more about her work at

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