THE MOUNTAIN THAT GROWS ON HER BACK

i watch aji change
    into a lizard

as i walk on the mountain that grows on her back.

a lit bidi
a sea salt sigh

reptile kava skin
snake & cross tattoo

my heels dig into her wingbones, circa 1912.

salmonish starch cotton sari
      soaking in coconut coconut sweat

i moonwalk across her crooked spinal chord
i daydream across her crooked spinal chord

she hums an anti-indenture folk song.

when the earth shakes
& seawater fills our tin home
i'll be safe high up on the mountain that grows on her back.

beta, will you cry for me when i die?
all sugar kane women want to die.