When the empires come for you you learn to hide it all You learn to wind it inside strands of cloth each clank of the loom a closing door turn the spoon around the bowl clockwise then counter add your spells into a pot of soup, a cup of tea, something they can’t force you to live without tell it to your children at bedtime until the shadows grow long in the corner of the room, open the doors and walk out into the hills Your underground means you’re underground They didn’t try to bury us but annihilate us some seeds die in the dark of the soil and some take well to burning You learn to make your gods as small as a coffee cup and hide your future in it The key to the land of the dead is inside a seed we will return there each year write your prayers in a new language and bend it to your will keep it inside a filigreed silver box around your neck A blue bead a blue thread to embroider the flag of an invisible indivisible nation onto your dress You learn to sing in a secret language for the prisoner’s ear only In the end, what is left of every empire? A few coins, a few iron nails rusting in the bottom of the river, half remembered monuments and names But our shadows are still striding the hills at dusk and the wind moves through our olive trees
‹Also in this Issue›
We are the land and the land is us. / Its holiness and grime cannot be dispelled from us.