The Cradle and the Crow

They are forged not birthed, the little girls
with toes dipped in the grave, preyed upon
by old crows perched on cradles, picking at dead
flesh. In that sea of blood and half-life
the pages of your holy book have grown damp.
The trumpet has gone mute, and so you must carve
your interpretation between my thighs,
and use the old pages to muffle my screams as you chant
parsed segments of tradition and submission.

We are warriors now, haunted by the glassy-eyed stares
of that generation of broken dolls with knees worn ragged
from misguided offerings to man-made gods. But
are we so different? Are we so unlike our mothers
and foremothers who filtered poison into wine
and poured into our cups whispers of a better future?
And are you so similar? Are you so much like your colonial
fathers who stripped naked your mother
land and planted seeds that have borne strange fruit?

There are words, you say, for women like me.
Women that would stray past the gates of the garden
and lead man to an existence of suffering. Castrated
nation of half-men offering their heads on a platter
to foreign kings, made drunk on the sophism of
practiced whores. We have become undone,
you say, forgone of angels and recaptured by beasts.
Dipping bloodied hands in milk and honey,
scraping fleshed ribs down until the bone.

We are not now as we were in the days of your fathers;
virgin lands awaiting impregnation; dry springs sprung
forth by impatient lust. That familiar chain is worn
and rusted—the collared bitch has now run mad, made
frenzied by scraps of bloodied flesh carelessly flung
by untrained guards. Your gods are dead, and your tower
is crumbling; cling fast to those sirens which you
once spurned, for the seas of life offer you no redemption
but a watery grave and a blackwater crown.


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