GONE - Poem by Mamang Dai
We have long journeys in our blood.
The road has no end.
The lanes and streets are lined in my eyes,
the horizon burns in my head.
At night we sleep with guns and gulls
tugging at land and oceans,
and ropes coiled to barren rock
where once flowers were to seed
pumping blood, and singing voices.
How would anyone know what we have tried to do,
when there was me, and you,
and there was the burnt black hill
monumental with the faces of our people,
until the next moonrise showed us
something about change,
and the existence of dreams.
The steep hillside is a hard place.
There is nowhere to rest our feet
even when I want to kneel and pray,
moved to tears by a rainbow sky.
What is felt
is a sadness.
Bereft of our symbols
this strange tattoo in my heart
is the sound of footsteps.
I know the clouds are hiding behind your eyes
even as you kiss my brow,
but this is the way that was promised us
the day we met ten thousand messengers
carrying the whispers of the world.
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