Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2017  Vol. 16 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Warn the Young Ones

First war She polishes the spine of her own
flesh Tethered nerve strangling cord She

burial moundsShe rituals She
cornstalks in rustling fields Nothing tribe

nothing sexRock for riverbedNotched
with flintSecond warShe needs lessSequoia

burnsCities In her body wrappings
of bodiesShe debates running She debates peeling

skinShe stops debating begins praying without
kneesNot for rain Prays rain Holy nothing

unlaces nothing remembered nothing
forgiven—Come othersThird war

She is a void in the particle machineShe is dust
Fourth war she loses the need for waterShe loses

all tasteRain brings each earthwormed corpse Nothing
uglyTurn not Her face from the deadShe

resurgenceShe fable of bee boxes
& honeyShe ark of some lost territory

of animalsShe zebrasShe aardvarks
She dredges the flooded streets of herthe gutters

Fifth warShe grows stronger All that can be
taken she takesAll that can be eaten

she swallowsAll that can be broken she
pulls into her belly & releasesNothing is whole

Sixth warShe loses her appetite Her bones brittle
The cabbage in the broth bitters She

pulls from ribcagesHearts Uses them
as weaponsSeventh warThe cord she began with

Nothing like a nooseShe would rest Longs for nothing
but rest Each threaded backbone slips its knot Nothing

transformsShe wants to tell you this is the end She wants  

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