How we begin this mo(u)rning…

In response to

what they did yesterday afternoon
     – Warsan Shire*

I see water all around me
the skies throw it down
wringing out the clouds
the trees shake off their showers
like puppies in summer

the fruit I bite
ripeness oozes down my chin

I wriggle my toes in salt waves
sharp drops dance on skin
I shiver head to tail
my water trembles and leaks
stormy downpour my face
I clench damp fists

I’ve been praying
I’ve been spelling
and these are what my prayers look like;
how I’ve been witching my words

dear god, dear gaea, 
spirits of the air and flame
guardians of the earth and sea
I come from two countries
I come from two mothers

from moving winds
across mounts and oceans
one is thirsty
another is on fire
all return to dust
yet floods will rise
we need a drink

later that night
between dusk and dawn
under this blue moon
I clasped my heart in my hand
an atlas in my lap
I dipped my fingers in blood 
And ran my fingers across the whole world

Where does it hurt?
it answered

Where can it heal?

Where is hope?

*Offered as a grief tribute for Youngsook Choi’s participatory performance, Not This Future, commissioned by Asia-Art-Activism for Till We Meet Again IRL, 2020, with the generous support of Arts Council England and the Bagri Foundation. With acknowledgement to Warshan Shire for her poem, “what they did yesterday afternoon”.

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