Stygian Islands

Creator: Damian McDonald 
Onyx earth releases worms,
ancient ruins
writhing under the waxing moon.

Whispering in a variety of tongues,
spit and spray,
a verbal monsoon.

We worry whether 
it's our ancestor's doing
as we twist another amulet.

Burnt flesh is never consumed,
not by black worms
or any of their kin.

Spread the ashes thin
upon the bald widow,
dutifully bathed in
her husband's exudations.

And the fearful feathers
of the Pitohui,
eyes of burgundy,
poison beak obsidian,
caws to the karwars
of childhoods stolen.

Men's hard hands 
till the surface
of sister and soil 
without discretion.

In a place where what is done in shadow
is legacy.
A country called Papua New Guinea.

©2023 | K. Hartless


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