Natasha Burge

ON ACQUIRING THE MEMORIES OF MY MOTHER
after Kaveh Akbar’s ‘Supplication with Rabbit Skull and Bouquet’

 

ask me why I leave the light on at night

why I am nervous in every grocery store

please won’t you carry me from this burning house

where men thirst for the ocean between our legs

tell me why I can’t look at dead birds without Jesus filling my mouth

why money and the Bible feel the same in my hand

you are always all the space everywhere

and I have the endless freedom of the orphan

in a female body suffering is called equilibrium

a body in motion tends to stay in motion

a body can never be a home if it is still searching

your forgiveness was a desperate return to the flames

everything you say to me comes true in reverse

my first blood was a pale madness with no translation

I am eating my kin

the dialogue in my bones speaks with your tongue

how do I explain that calamity comes in the quietest moments

that everything is always forever until it is gone

find me again in another form and rest


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