Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Today, hunger is staring at me gauntly
Always at my elbow as I cradle my baby
Standing by my bedside when I wake up empty
Tapping on my shoulder while I pray on crooked knees
Holding my hand with every swaying step

Today, hunger is staring at me gauntly
Hunger that stops the movement of life
Hunger that taunts while I gnaw on roots and bark
Hunger that makes sense of what was once senseless
Hunger that watches the corpses pile up in the fields

Today, hunger is staring at me gauntly
Shaking each breath from my body
Face reduced to shadow, arms outstretched
I swallow my saliva and vow someday
That I would end this hunger of mine

Today, death is staring at me gauntly.
breathe in…breathe out…

poison in our waters, our lands
poison in our wombs, our mouths
when is daylight? when is nighttime?
i no longer taste, see, feel
the separation
but you can’t take me.

breathe in…breathe out…

i once had a thought
forget what it could be
something subtle
distant motion, hushed voices
a pungent stench
clenched fists, a declaration
no, my memories are a cloud of ash.

breathe in…breathe out…

i desperately fear  
and desperately need
the tainted oxygen
of gray smoke
dancing through nostrils, lips,
my blackened lungs
a dance that mocks my mortality
as i slip back into the darkness
of my mind.
Light and smoke
blossoms from the barrel of a gun
as they lay waste
to the only home I have ever known
and stake their claim on this land
where my ancestors toiled under a smoldering sun,
wrinkles on face,
sweat on back,
callouses on hand.

Stolen plunder
rots in gold and marble jars
while I watch my children collapse
from hunger
and my husband hang himself
on that old tree,
watered by the blood
of generations
gasping for air
under the banner of the unfree.

Tonight, I cry out
to Mother, Father, Aunt, Uncle,
since the voices of my children have dried up
and my husband’s body has returned to the earth,
but I stand, an emaciated shell,
nonetheless standing
with one more scream,
one last sob,
another step,
I shall carry this banner until we all become free.
My city sings like a siren
Its brash tenor, an incision 
Fading into mundane life

My city rises like smoke 
From a freshly lit cigarette
Until the sickness sets in  

My city mourns like a lover
Begging for more time
Before the flame subsides

My city trembles like a sinner
Before a god 
Indifferent to her pain
My country meanders like a stream
Guided by impartial terrain
In search of open sea

My country reaches like a vine
For a source of warm light
Having survived winter

My country thirsts like a lily
Laid over a burning pyre
White petals wrinkling into ash

My country crumbles like a sandcastle
Fastened by childlike fantasy
Oblivious to the nearing tide
in your silence
i hear myself loudest
and i don’t like
what i hear

in your absence
i confront the fullness
of my longing
to know you

in your uncertainty
i pave a road
straight and narrow
and run to you

in your weakness
i encounter the immensity
of who i am
and who i can never be
as it were
i  b r  e    a      k
full of wasted grace
making the dry dust
that remains
my instrument
wildly
writing all the wrongs
new lyrics
for an old song
time lost
to an arcane rhythm
m      a  d
from the absurdity
of this life
that I suffer
in verse

through crescendo


and endless



fermata
Next page