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.