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White Grass

Playing Passover

Mariel Alonzo

While boys plucked runts of the litter

for roasting, some holding on stretching their mothers’

dry teats, so selfish, we go to scrape mothers-

of-pearl from the slack jaws of mussels.

Beached on the shore, a polar bear with leftover fur

of froth knelt on salt, waves

like half-breed street kids begging more

from its given legs. Unafraid

we sip out the last glacier hidden in her maw

learned how to shiver.

Then carved out her heart. Its cold blood

a secret smudged by our skirts as we ran to keep it

to ourselves. Still-beating ruby we passed

and dribbled, shooting at any halo leaving

hints of a hit-and-run in empty

basketball courts. We laughed and called it our pacific

ring of fire. When we grew tired, let it dry

under the sun, took turns suckling

pretending it were burnt thumbs of tamarind. Felt its fuel

and downpour. Lava that dripped and stained

the slashed flour-sacks between our thighs.

Quietly, we’d hope a new landmass would form.

This heat painted across the bamboo doors

to stroke God’s eyes away, make the hut

invisible as our lips ultrasound

these wombs—hushed bellows in our below.

A petty crime, when future midwives

ride in tandem to snatch what couldn’t

be freely taken. Briefest sentence,

imprisoned in each pant.

From afar we hear bonfire and gongs

warning of a war, of how ready we are

to find shelters of our own. Between sheets

of tin roof, the bear’s ashes sin the sky

like a wet dream. Eggless for now, we let

our nests cry. When our parents find us

we’ll hide behind the alibi that those forbidden sounds

were of a backstrap loom.




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