Dark Muses

They fed me
soups       with sediment of bile,
chopped entrails         of animals
who bleated under    the guava trees
before the torch singed      hide
and the glistening knife   slit
the pulsing throat. 
              At night they cradled
me in salt netting       The webs
still wet from    all the thread
we gathered    and wove from our eyes
       They did not have to say
watch       and learn        I smelled
the lessons of their bodies
                  Soap and water 
in their hair   Calluses on each finger
         Oiled and bent      over the stove
they did not fear      blood or dirt
Crying out from behind       closed
bedroom doors
          How could they still be     sweetest      
in sorrow            Shielding the lamp
wick that fluttered        in the depths
Whatever happens       they said
   Burn      Don't let it go out



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