Poem by Tan Tzy Jiun : The Earthworm (from Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020)

Earthworm, Soil, Dirt, Macro, Earthworm

The earthworm

You know, people tend to want to live.
They move from nebula to nebula, give their bodies
to maps. These maps tell us something about
catastrophe, how she is drawn to density.
You never meant to love her, not with the dedication
of an old bureaucrat. To love her is to use her with force,
vandalise her with stretch marks,
give her children who bite like fleas.
My grandfathers moved south as soon
as they heard about a drought coming.
It is coming, again. This time it doesn't want
me to live. This stuff of wars recur every hundred years. 
Under the bureaucrat's pen, my mother's neck twists
open to reveal mine. I burrow deeper.
This story keeps me awake. Here's another story:
I was clutching my genitals
when I ran like a loose button. He was someone
she knew and she was someone
so it was better to keep quiet. When they let me out,
my eyes were dry as pepper.
The first thing I did was to take a shower,
which is teenage speak for I don't want to sepak
of this ever, ever, ever , again.
Catastrophe gives you the gift of the earthworm, 
that you may multiply your tongue and disappear
without trying. Here is the map of the root network.
It has since unfolded a new accent,
sprouted skyscrapers. You can disappear
without a trace when population is dense enough
to sink a peninsula. The right ripple at the right time
is a viral bomb and a civilization of itchy throats.
You have been there before. You can live through anything.


Bio from 2020:
Tan Tzy Jiun is a Malaysian poet and theatre-maker based in Vienna, Austria. A graduate student of History, she is published and forthcoming in Stones of Madness Press, Second Chance Lit, Eunoia Review, Fleas on the Dog, Nether Quarterly, and Postscript Magazine. She is co-founder of Exit 11 Performing Arts. You can follow her on Twitter @tzyjiun_

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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