Where They Left You for Dead / Halfway Home EdgeWork Press, Boulder, Colorado, 2002

Androgynous and very beautiful,

they list your qualities among those others: patron saint
of healers and of fish, master (and mistress?) of rivers.
Doctor, hunter, fisherman, fisher woman or both,
god or goddess of the gatherers, one who lives in water
and on land.
We prepare your meal: red snapper with watercress, squash,
sweet potato, Mandarin oranges, sweet wine and almond oil.
We dress for dinner in your blues, yellows, whites. Adorn ourselves
with shells and beads that alternate dark green, a Prussian blue
or coral pink.
Your queer nature, never spoken now. Yet we know Yemayá,
finding you beautiful, took you to the depths of the sea.
Once you knew the mysteries of that place, she
had to cut out your tongue to prevent your telling them.
Today, blessed your sex,
you speak with her mouth, move with her skirts like waves
in possession’s dance. Blue green your color. Friday
and every 24th your days. Queer Inle, your children
discrete and studious, you impatient still. Waiting
for your people to pronounce your name.