“We, Made of Bone” by Mahtem Shiferraw

“We, Made of Bone” by Mahtem Shiferraw

These days, I refuse to let you see me
the way I see myself.


I wake up in the morning not knowing
whether I will make it through the day;


reminding myself of the small, small things
I’ve forgotten to marvel in;


these trees, blood-free and bone-dry
have come to rescue me more than once,


but my saving often requires hiding
yet they stand so tall, so slim and gluttonous


refusing to contain me; even baobab trees
will split open at my command, and


carve out fleshless wombs to welcome me.
I must fall out of love of the world


without me in it, but my loves have
long gone, and left me in a foreign land


where once I was made of bone,
now water, now nothing.