Ashley Young

Playing the D’s


the hand is staccato flinching to play a humming bird’s song, the stem of the shoulder rolling pushing the memories of lecherous hands and i speak in tongues with the cadence of ghosts, little girls, devil men, 'come back' calls, chanting of present time and name and place to cast anchors that cannot plant and the sobbing comes in high tide waves, over and over with sorrys for the child and 'where'd you go' daddy and 'wake up, wake up mommy' then the rocking away of the demon without mouth but with voice that threatens to chain me to the girl and bury us breathing with no one to pull us out


i won't believe the hands of my root woman can pull me out: the nightmare of hospital beds and a record of symptoms and should I pack a bag/will they let me have my beads/how long must I stay and the stones and sage and homebound scents will be altered and i won't know my root woman is fighting for me with razors and words and just how close she is to God


i am quiet, the storm rolls out of the sky and the demon whispers 'I will be back' that i, woman cannot hear and all that is left is the rocking and the knowing that the water is not poison and the water is me and i will swallow myself in the garden of my gut and whether anything grows, i myself, back once again, human woman child, well/sick knowing someone will fight for me when i undress from my armor, my spirit mama holds and sings sounds to my ground, that when i wake i will be paper thin, zombie blooded, woman beautied and back to the round of the earth once again