The hearts of my village are buried inside
this dirt. We call out to the sky to raise them up
in maize or cassava, to fill buckets
we set out each night in case God acknowledges
us in patter upon canvas, the warm
stretching of an arm into the damp night.
The cattle call, the cock cries, and still
we wait. Dirt on our children’s eyelashes
they call fairy dust. The rest of us
hardly speak, our voices shucked
from the meat that lent its shape.
At night I stand alone in the dirt
to feel blood beat inside my feet.
I beg God to turn blood into water
so I might pour my daughter a cup
as cold as the tubers inside the dark
earth who merely swallow their sugars