none of our mothers believed they were dead
they peeled things, boiled things, bled, bled, bled
they worried over the price of meat, wore red

none of us believed we were born of wounds
we have our feet our bantiki our books
our capital letters & our dreamed battlegrounds

you see how I cannot decide what rhymes
with wound; is it something enormous and round
or the ship horn’s wailing: soon soon soon
soon as we leave our mothers in their tombs
of patterns & memories; long afternoons
of finding tongueholds in enemy tongues

long nights missing ourselves, then learning —
how going home is similar to mourning.



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