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garba, or womb + lamp, or as in every tradition there is a woman & her body & both are vessels

PUBLISHED: September 8, 2020


                    toenail polish warped waxen from sand, you leave 
          your body behind again—mere rind, edges buzzing
from unsought touch. you end up in a skeleton

                    house & on a driveway with the sun
          holding vigil—that central flame, her silent
drumming. her reminder : you could, if you flared, contain

                    something alive. instead you skin your bare soles
          raw shuddering up & up the drive. you are so many girls
trying to move unbridled, you forget yourself. you wretch & tear 

                    o only repentance           o patriarchied psyche : split
          in perpetuity, once you stood barefoot
on linoleum eating something delicious

                    out of the jar. it was the year of your favorite
          animal, the year of mosquito nets canopying
your twin-sized heart. you jostled your ankles

                    to hear a tinkling, you sent your arm
          heaving to twist your body in a circle
of women that never breaks. those women

                    never broke formation. those women
          who made you, who taught you the footwork—
its weave & lilt—but never          how to run.



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