North

We would dream of the North when cold
Icy and frozen around its tree and flower,
The mountains aching with pure silver.
Up there the men moved about in stoles.
Old men in buckets on young shoulders
Muttered god-god-god under icy breathes.
It seemed God was made of ice in a cave.

We had played with waves in childhood
And sea-pebbles in  teens like marbles.
The waves came from a  bottom of South
And pebbles from storied monkey-soldiers
Who floated them on choppy salt waters.
We ate rice topped with grated coconuts.
Our gods lay in stony slumber in flowers.

But we had always dreamed of the North
Of  rivers where corpses floated like stones
And burnt in acrid blue smoke on the banks.
The waters would flow with bright marigolds
As life unfolded each day on a new death .
We made fine round rice balls for our dead.

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