“‘Ke alanui maʻawe ʻula a Kanaloa’ is a common poetic reference to a path one’s soul takes to Kanaloa after death. Kanaloa is not just the god of the deep ocean, amongst many other things, but also the god of the unconscious—mine, yours, the unconscious of ʻāina. It’s the infinite space waiting under the membrane of life, feeding or diminishing us, as those that came before us return. My growing understanding of Kanaloa intertwines with the caretaking of my grandmother, especially with the cruel shapes that dementia takes. A few weeks after we wrote this together, she left on February 16, 2022. She was ninety-seven years old.”
—Donovan Kūhiō Colleps
Copyright © 2022 by Donovan Kūhiō Colleps. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 18, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.