Swamp song


Errant child in the palm grove
beyond the ferns
beyond the frogs’
I have journeyed into the swamp
desecrating the lepers’ abode
kissing the hissing boa
with my iron machete
wide eyed in bewilderment.

The market noise deafening
the song of the cuckoo
swept me here with the deluge
through spiral paths of the snail shell
to witness at midnight:
Propitiations of the cane-rat,
The cobra’s change of raiment.

Teat-thorns of palmfronds;
lacerate my ochre lips,
drink blood, as I drink oil.
Then finger the trickling stream
That leads home.

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