Until My Ink Runs Dry

by Diana Cole

Something unspeakable
is happening in Somalia.
Held down by older women,
grandmothers and midwives,
a girl is cut with a razor
where thighs meet
where hair emerges new
like moss after a wet rain.

Hush, hush, they say
you will be beautiful
in your husband’s eyes.

The hood is hooked,
the pink firm bulb pulled away
caught in a bowl to be
buried in a field of pollen.

Morning glories close,
cannot bear the sun that sees this.

Detached from her disgrace
the ‘little bride’s’ legs are wound
with perfumed cloth, sheaved
30 days and nights. All this
as readily as the carpenter bee
slits the corolla, robs
the honeysuckle of its nectar.

A Pushcart Prize nominee, Diana Cole’s poems have appeared in numerous journals including Blueline, Avocet, Off the Coast, The Christian Century, The Cider Press Review, Slipstream, Poetry East, Spillway and Tar River Review. Since moving to Rhode Island in 2011, she has joined the Ocean State Poets whose mission is to encourage the reading, writing and sharing of poetry and to create opportunities for others to find their own voices.