by Sarah Ornellas

Green caves of Zaire
wake me with your
feverish whispers.
I reach through
the rising suns,
the thick, blue skies.
I reach for secrets.
I know the quiet simian mourning,
the Congo riddles,
the skeletons of the forest.
I know my grandmother
waits for me
with her secret lovers.
She wears her
yellow flesh mask.
She wears her tumors,
her red lips,
her Venus body.
The sun and water,
the wind and weather,
are the treasures
of her salty womb.
She holds still
in her heart's mind
the olive leaves,
the rough stones
of her Jesus.
I am her spirit double.
Her gaudy apprentice,
her rude slut.
The plague is jaundiced.

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