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Niobium (Nb)

Deborah Poe


(My dear I’m lying
on earth’s red clay
shirt clinging
to the ground
windless air
skirting my edge
the jawline set
against the mind’s blank

It’s the guns, not gangs, to hate—
the shining metal all capacity
anger, rage spiraled round

Who allows
these things
their reach?

Not mother or child
other, exile, absence—

Muntu ya nganzi, not of this rich earth
armed with machete, they cut at my
God punishes a jackal, a weasel and a crow
the rainbow serpent has left the rivers
left the ocean left the waterfall
to crawl into me ground spit out
over a cloudless sky

In the shadow of loss
when the third one comes
our home was chisel at the stone
dreamless gold of rock
of dead children, the lords of war
Now I shall swallow all that
I’ve come to the dead, a world without fruit
where nothing and no one belongs—
homelessness roars under everything)
My dear one, I would have loved you
I write this for what I witnessed—
what mercifully you could not see

Deborah Poe

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