Po­etry

Canadian Art - - Contents - By Gwen Be­n­away

Holy Wild by Gwen Be­n­away

my gookum said only the wild ones are holy.

bush in north­ern Michi­gan is the an­ces­tral field of my body,

a girl who tastes of sum­mer rag­weed in the high heat of noon.

my body grows by night in se­cret, wet with year­ling dew.

breasts and hips spread like bush­fires in a dry sea­son,

skin pale as moon­light at dawn, soft as a muskrat’s pelt skinned in March.

my mouth is a dam­selfly’s wings, iri­des­cent breath on your sex.

my hips hold a cock the colour of crushed blue­ber­ries, bit­ter­sweet pur­ple.

my breasts dart from your hands like min­nows, chase deeper wa­ter.

my gookum said a woman moves like the sway of cat­tails in a June wind.

I lean to you like an ot­ter dives, slick and glis­ten­ing against your chest.

un­derneath the cedar of my thighs, past the birch tree of my spine

is an open­ing, a rat­tlesnake den, when you press your body in me,

the sound I make is a black­bird’s cry. here is the wild heart of me,

rush of heat on your full­ness, this is the holy wild she made me.

a woman’s sex is as sa­cred as her land, my an­ces­tors learned from cre­ation,

a woman is as holy wild as her body’s made to be.

Maanii Oakes Re­sponse to “Holy Wild” 2017

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