The Words of Neferet

It was a darkness we could touch.

To some, it felt like sheepskin

To others: downy feathers

Finely woven linen

Or fur

Sounds had tastes then, too

And tastes, sounds

The cock's crow had the tang of lemon for me

But the bite of radish to Seth, my son

My mother's millet porridge growled and rumbled

My husband's tea cried like a child

And I remember, lying still

Smelling the yellow, dust-covered wind

And knowing: this is God

Bringing us affliction

For the cruelty we have always done

And thought it routine

And thought it our right

Locusts and hail

Even rivers of blood

Could all be black magic, or chance

But this was a reproach:

You look, listen, and feel

But you do not know what is real

When they left us it was like tearing

Organs from a body

And every day since they've been gone

I have risen, with the dawnlight

And looked to the sun

And tried

Truly tried

To see

Kimberly Gladman