Last night I crawled from death
I feel wrung like emergency change
of clothes rained too many afternoons
on the washing line.
The sins of my foremothers
must have sat in my womb
like fire. All the seed in me
wanting to escape the smouldering.
I tasted smoke on my tongue
I called this death by fire
Engulfed, my lower back
hung low, it too wanting to escape.
I crawled from death wrenching
my intestines down the latrine.
I called mother’s mother’s mother
from her grave. Rapturing, tearing, burning.
My limbs are numb, a time
to count sheep. Every month
for five days I crawl from
death’s hole asking myself, why?
On these days come to me only
if you are river, prepared
to put out the raging fire.
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