Circumventing Circumcisions

Her lips were tight

Never parting

too wide

for too many words

or too wide a kiss

“If you are sex-y”

she said

“they can never de-sex you”

Her lips


But pursed.


Because of the migration

she could now

spare her daughter

the ritual

Her daughter:

lips free

legs fast

eyes wide

speaking early

in many tongues.

But she felt

she could not


her daughter

the way her mother had shepherded her.


The migration

was mitigating

but left her ashore.

Her longings

had become foreign

Her life,

a stranger

How to phonate,

to be erect 

in a new place

of different constraints?


Her mother arrived

another face,

another frame,

                                                         the wars back home intensifying.

Progeny and territory

   Flesh and hunger

      Meat and potatoes

    Her mother cut,

    she cooked,

    her daughter consumed

persevering    retreating   resurging   

   the sepia-flow unsealable


You can’t bleed the life from woman


from breathing for breadth

(TSAR: 2005, pp. 61-62)

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