I carry my ancestors bones on my tongue.
Chipped and broken
they clatter against my teeth,
leaves in the wind
of my speaking.

Pajtrarel man,
mukhel man te tasavel.

I carry my ancestors ashes in the
pale palms of my hands
so many small specks
of great big lives;

or is it dust from the roads
we are forced to walk
generation after

Mud clinging to our feet
and our souls

and our tongues.

I carry the flowers of our memories
guillotined and gathered
in my arms;

each pristine petal
stretched out across
the sky like a
cadaver’s skin.

I carry my ancestor’s bones on my tongue.
Each word rising
and falling from my lips

full of marrow
and ashes
and mud
and petals.