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Patricia L. Meek


In the tattered month
of the Maypole splinter,
I sat uptight
in my upright chair.

Embers roaring in the fire.

Manifesto, a bound volume

on my knees. 


Triumph typewriter, all

day, had hammered

the orders out. 


Führer, framed

behind my head,

cast a long 


across the dead. 


By the winter of ’48, I was

black boots defeated power,

tapping in ashen crumble

of Italian marble. 


Supernova, locked and loaded, I pressed

9mm Luger against my soft palate.

Führer framed behind my head.

During the incarnation
of my resentment,
my palms itched,
searching for something
to steal. I knew not
the stillness
of night, a treasure to hold. 


I cursed my sullen lot,

not owning, but taking 

justly desserts
to feed my opium pipe. 


Into shadowy dens,

I held onto nothing,

not even my life. 

When I was an infantryman, I vowed nothing like

this would ever happen
to my women,
to my children.


I followed SOP and
All Feasible Precautions
as I pressed the button, leveling a market and a school into rubble. 


There was nothing left in the scattered debris that 

was recognizable as a living thing. Not even me.


In those lost summers
of my brief life,
voices filled my village
with tribal songs. Thousands
of generations lived in my blood.
I had amazing arms, ochre, black currant,

red, like our mother, and strong. 


Baby hammocked
to my back, I hacked

sheaves into meal.
Bread to feed our people. 


An hour after sunset,
on the day of the coup,
I, along with five hundred others,

were rounded up in the back
of cargo trucks. 


My tongue was severed.
Then they cut away my hands.

A million others were macheted

in their shoes. 

In that life,
I was born
sorceress; I invoked prayers
with drums and rattles.
Heat and herb conjured the invisible 


Universe in every living thing.

Rocks were sisters, Bear, my brother.

Earth, my mother. Until 


Crusaders’ red crosses, draped across thundering

chain-mailed horses torched the thatch in which 

we lived. They feared
the tongues in which I sang, so 

slashed my throat and speared

baby heads by the dozen. 


In courts of righteousness,
persecution’s wood gavels
pounded down our rattles and our drums. Then 

they choked our children with the pages of their

history annals. 

In the theatre
of embodiment, I’ve played all roles,

and returned again. 



into space, 


  Now I


take refuge in 


the cosmic mirror.


             I AM the love 


         that burns


              away the veil, 


        where the pendulum


  stops swinging 


    and falls



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