the coffin is empty
the tulips on my belly unopened
and I might be about to die of boredom
the time has come
to say the words life stopped
in my throat a full-bellied bird sits
on my tongue and in the fields
the scarecrows multiply
like the men I have known
and tanks the war forgot are circling the house
because I took no pleasure in their fire
and these words
for mourners to unfeather
strange women will wash my corpse
turn my heavy flesh about and stare
at my three tattoos
picture it burning
underground mouthing
afterlife afterlife afterlife
they will rush out to tell the world
crows tall as men flew from her
bald crows with
cut tongues
what afterlife
I am in death no less at work
no less entangled with the first
I heard no Gabriel
no trumpet blast no judgment fell
love struck me and I am still busy
tracing the groove it left on my cheek
and still the nights brim
you see stranger I struggle
to give up my books
how would I part with my dreams
the faces I treasure are still set
in frames to keep them from slipping
your Lord will ask me

what have your hands done
I will say I have no hands
strange women wrecked me
with strange water
I am not done with learning
my anger is a lame foot I don’t know how to mend
and I am yet
to shake off love’s hard blows the way straw hides in fire
to breathe in after slaughter without catching my own stink
to feed the dogs of discontent before they sink
their teeth into my neck
the crows will bury me because like them
I never learned to walk
I ran
until I met with blood
nose turned to rubble
the strange woman’s hand is cold
and from her palm will sprout forever
caws and feathers and my voice
behind her making
words of boredom

Translatet by: Yasmine Seale