& Other Ways to Read the Dirt

3. Clark_& other ways

Chloe N. Clark

& Other Ways to Read the Dirt

What have we done to one another
what grievances have we let seep
into the soil. We dig our fingers
into the ground as if we wish to
tear out our

own hair by the roots. You know,
we have filled the trees with
Oranges like poison. Remember
that tree in the beginning of time
and the serpent and the apple?

And what poison did we taste then
on our tongues, was it knowledge
about what we would do in war?

Was war what we learned, or was it
always in us, rotting us up from
the ground as we stumbled away
from cities burning, from villages
sprayed with chemicals, from the sight

of the world undone by us? We pray
for god, any god to hear us
and forgive us, cleanse us of our sins—
our sins, so filled with colors,
etched across the skin
of the land.

_______________

Chloe N. Clark‘s work appears in Apex, Bartleby Snopes, Booth, Hobart, previous issues of Abyss & Apex, and more. She can be followed @PintsNCupcakes

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