We were born rootless. Our bodies fell
from someplace we could not name
to earth, bones soft and oily—rain collecting
right above the inside of our elbows. God
didn’t give us last names, only relics
from another life: copper buckets, spools
of dark smoke, a river where we waded
and waited and learned the word
for clean. We were born rootless.
When our hair curled
against the ground, we pieced strands
back together as letters. Words wilted
in our mouths, then bloomed—soft smatters,
fertile vowels whisked into quiet
accents. We were born rootless.
We didn’t know
the rules, so we brought the sun
to our bellies, cooked
our faces in light.
Read more from Issue No. 25 or share on Facebook and Twitter.