It exists
on a frayed embroidered map,
where I pulled at gold threads,
searching for the first stitch.

We trail over roots and rocks next to the unbarred water,
until we reach Kaiteur, Kai’s house.
Long stalks brush my cheeks,
eyes peeled for poisonous golden toads, a jolt between leaves,
for bushmaster serpents and rainbow boas blending with overgrown roots.
I expected
to find Kai within these running waters,
but he is not mine to find.
Instead I grip the granular edge.

Why did you sacrifice yourself?
What did Makonaima say to you?
Had others done the same
when boats docked on these sandy shores?

This place is often called the Land of Six People;
Five of us are visitors.

Natasha Ramoutar is an Indo-Guyanese writer by way of Scarborough (Ganatsekwyagon) at the east side of Toronto. Her work has been included in projects by Diaspora Dialogues, Scarborough Arts, and Nuit Blanche Toronto and has been published in The Unpublished City II, PRISM international, Room, THIS Magazine and more. She is the Fiction Editor of FEEL WAYS, an anthology of Scarborough writing, and the Social Media Assistant at the Festival of Literary Diversity. Her first book of poetry, Bittersweet, will be published in 2020 by Mawenzi House.