After they put us on a high flame
and left us to cook on their new law
of deserting forests, our practised enemy
riffled through the contents of our heart.
They wanted our stash of weapons,
our snake stones, and evidence of black
magic. It was war, although their prissy law
squirms at calling things by name. Enemies
are called rebels; rebels are bleeding hearts
who read too much; infrastructure is a weapon
they can deploy against the charms of black
bodied machine guns; sex is a flame
fanned by legs; breasts are the real enemy.
We were hobbled by laughter. Our heart
convulsed to think of soft flesh as weapons
in the mouths of newborns, as if their black
toothless mouths could hold a flame
to flesh. Flesh gives life – this is the law
of breasts and legs and eyes and heart.
But what did we know? Their first weapon
is the eye. It falls on rivers, pierces black
rock for atomic secrets that can set aflame
the whole world. We did not know laws
of alchemy could make mineral into enemy
wealth and that wealth is a basilisk weapon.
After they motored down to cast black
eyes of iron upon our red earth, flames
shot up from mud walls. Ever since, no law
of the forest will hold. Tigers lick their enemies.
Hyenas sharpen their nails on our hearts.
We stand with the crop all night, blackly
imploring the sky to pour. We stand like flames,
all tongue, swearing upon the gods that the laws
of tree and river are on our side. Our enemy
comes. We can hear them. Their rocky hearts
are knocking, clicking like triggered weapons.
Sky, take our black magic tongue. Hold our flaming
heart, forest. The laws of hunger will decide this war.
Quick! The enemy comes, weapons cradled to his breast.