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She began with two lovers on the swept floor of earth.
She was what passed between them.
She was a gourd too heavy for the vine and full of her own wet seed.
Her grandmother kept the red bag that held her stem so she would not forget the other women she lived inside before this ruined time.
The beginning of hunger was in that bag with bones and the origins of betrayal, but there was the forgiving thing, the dry seeds of the rattle that could shake healing to a start.
She stood naked and painted herself in the old way, a red hand across her face. She danced in the ceremony of fire that rose to the stars. She wrapped night's black skin around her …