Like family

When heat tumbles through skin and knit cloth,
like stifling, sun-warmed mists rising up to the occasion of a morning,
I feel so like the earth.

When jungles of oil-darkened hair frame a face,
crowd sky blue, dusty vision, tickled behind ridge dotted ears,
spreading rashes down a sun-red neck, when feet hurt,
when towering spine stiffens,
heat gets up to blood bathing the brain
and causes a nerveless organ to undergo the experience of feeling pain,
I am truly the naked mammal child of my planet.

And in these many moments,
the languages of elemental parents and grandparents,
great aunt the sun and granddaddy moon,
wind and water table cousins,
close kin and friends who pass over like rain,
stirring and kicking in the swollen bellies of clouds,
are familiar to me.

I hear their words clear, but understand only faintly.
I believe the world is telling me that I have lived here
like a stranger long enough. Now, we,
the earth and me, will be like family.

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