Anthill 1920 1309 Dzikamayi Chando

a poem written
from my mother’s back while she walked on
teargas canisters and rubber shells:

the anthill where my umbilical cord is entombed
sits in the underbrush whose root and bark braced my fontanel
i kiss this soil that suckles me and trod on it unshod
the nexus between my nucleic acid and its mainspring
spirit’s in the soil i’m a footprint of the grand of the great grand
of the great great of time of memory of imagination

of infiniteness constantly e x p a n d i n g
of mother’s tongue lit tungsten in darkened dens
under ferrous fists filled with asphyxiating mist
this place used to be home it’s still home but
you said the war was over you said it was over but
you’re panting beneath the wet face cloth while
i’m buried in the baby sling breathing through your spine.

Header photograph © Kate Koenig.

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