Sunday, September 23, 2007


In some parts of the world right now,
it is night, and where it is night,
women are going underground

women dig
women lay flat on their faces in pits
women find tunnels and make tunnels and

women avoid stiff tree roots
women wear hard and ugly yellow hats
women carry their tools over their shoulders
and in their pockets

women crawl down into wet caves
with ropes around their waists
women take off their heavy gloves
to brush at the dirt to delicately peel
the years away from the teeth from eye sockets
women whisk the dull gold rings the bracelets
with toothbrushes

women gently straighten
the rotten calico skirts
women tap at the sodden brown femurs
until they shift until they loosen from the wall

women slip tentative dirty fingers
under the damp petticoats
under the ripped slips
and the moldy underclothes and women
lift away the smeared envelopes
the soggy letters the words spilling
like glistening persimmon seeds
into underground puddles

women reach between the legs of the dead
women find old tongues new ways to fit
a language heavy and stained still
smelling of horse dung and honey


So I’ve been reading a lot of Adrienne Rich, and I have my “fight the power” baseball cap on (backwards). Is this poem too clich├ęd? Have you heard it all before?

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