Jennifer Militello

We come from three generations of gunsmiths

and armorers. Our pride name is Swahili for dust.

We sew necklaces together from doorknobs

and knucklebones and eye sockets and teeth.

We weep at the sight of sugar cane cut.

Our headlamps reveal the skull of a jaguar,

precise stone men, staircases hollowed, a two-edged

knife. Sacrifices seem another form of astronomy.

Pyramids predict the face of the earth. Our gardens

grow fructose. Our hands fill with cake. We emulate

the rasps of frogs. What we ate is processed in the liver.

Legally hunted lions hang, wilted to bone.

We poison livestock. We rescue rafts. We patrol borders

marked by marooned populations. Our spines

are the spokes of motorcycle wheels. Our longships

empty. Our rodents stow. Our goldenrods produce toxin.

Our gallflies perch. Our offspring hatch. Our onslaughts

happen. Our coral reefs pulse. We exit through fences

we then repair. We survive the dry season. We crave meat.

Our dark manes correlate with robustness. Our Asian carp

are tenacious. Our wildebeest rank high as prey.


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