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The night I sang to you of rivers


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That night I sang to you of rivers

Your hands beating

patterns on the dusty ground frantic

my voice a cool thread of river water

full of fish and whale bone

rhythm lapping at the edges

and called you ‘Brother’

you called me ‘Sister’


when the last lamp

was extinguished we fell to ground

and I dreamt of water

and awoke to black fire

the invisible assault of hands

my power shaken into ash


the next night I waited my hands

Carbon dipped and when the

quake began again I clasped you

to me pressed my palms to your skin


the morning light betrayed you

those black marks on your back fit

each finger trail pathway

I called you Brother

My mouth would not sing

Salt lodged in my throat

Whale bone cut into my flesh

Inside my womb the dank cavern

Something stirred, and I was afraid


Look, I said

Look what you have done to me. Would you devour

my body wholly?

You could not answer

Your mouth on my breasts my body cut from me

There is blood on your lips


That night I sang to you of rivers

You had tied white feathers into your hair

And you shone so brightly my eyes filled with

lake water and salt crystal

thrumming patterns in the dust

wish I had never called you


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