Love in the Seventh Fire by Kaitlyn Walsh

I come from Big Woman.
Ancestors, descendants, generations.
I am me and seven before and after.
Still human and lonely in the dark of early morning, I write:
If my loves truly met me, would they still love me?
Seeds, sun, weeds accelerate fine lines.
For what?
Hard labor, hard water, cheap pipes, my neighbors’ cigarette smoke.
Will my damage tell them?
Trauma pulls skin.
Trauma strains nerves.
Trauma draws out pain.
I heal for me above all.
For me above all, I heal so love can reach my strained heart.
How do I prepare for that cedar-scented coiling under hides love?
Rose-petal kisses to let energy go and go.
Mint to open.
Lavender to calm and soothe.
They say during this time some will be us but not look like us.
Oh I have experienced the ones who look like us but aren’t us.
My greatest fear and joy?
I burn and rise and it’s all for me.
Soaked in pine air, forest floor, and fresh snow.
My heart alone beats
Feel love-touch on the wind.
My mind weaves fantasy to explain it.
Makwa man shapeshifts between the trees.
Pick me up, push me against bark.
Lay me down, sweetly, on soil.
Creation cradles me when humans can’t.
My greatest fear and joy?
That that’s not enough.
To have the most expansive love and there?
My root craves more.
Right here on earth love.
This realm, fully, love.
Graze my lips, trace my neck, my thighs love.
Breath in plants, nature all over us love.
Aging in the Seventh Fire, my body flows.
My hair grays.
Legs, armpits wild.
Not cute but embodied, beautiful.
Only birthing space can hold me.
Carry me like that, love.
Like blood moon and chaste berries.
Good touches.
Where stress is held and released.
Really though.
How much longer must I perform for you all?
This is how you make a living?
This is how you survive?
This is how things are done?
I’ve been done since day one.
You pinned down this flesh.
My spirit soared.
I ran naked through the woods.
I swam through a goddamned rainstorm.
I live so let me live.
I love so let me love.
Big Woman, soft breasts, licking scars love.
Love in the Seventh Fire.
We all deserve that.


Bringing Joy: A Local Literary Welcome Copyright © 2021 by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. All Rights Reserved.

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