Calabria

knotted hair, scalps

cracked open like

fresh walnuts, hidden

under a woven sun,

tanned skin sticky

from southern heat,

lime-light resurrecting

the sleeping indigoes,

cupping

their hands and bathing in

the froth of their poverty,

broken language whirling

like static on their tongues,

gummy asphalt bruised

into their own bodies,

their voices laced

with altitude as they

beg the valleys to cave,

so they can bloom their symmetry

upon the badlands.

/before I could speak,

outstretched palms wedded

clay into my skin, suffocating

me beneath a thousand cotton-woods.

Calabria,

but grandmother

hushes me, watching strangers

butcher her hometown in chopped

syllables.

I want to speak to them,

but my city words crumble

beneath abyss heat, like

palaces piling upon ink-torn

paper,

moonlight hovering

between stained glass,

keeping it aglow, melodic

sayings like up the small

church, and I gasp in a silent

revelation,

grandmother’s body

still fumes with fever,

silently heaving from

a solstice season,

she misses home,

her eyes sea-glass

and wistful,

words accented with

rosemary and sage,

we throw upon the land,

their spirit lies beneath

here,

that I know.

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