her body is the land - K Darch

Vanilla Ice on the loudspeaker says kick it one time boyyyy
mine deeper harder faster now
be a miner for a heart of gold
it’s illegal
not the taking
just if you don’t have a permit
her body is the land where all you need is a license
to plunder
the paper work becomes an extension of the violence
signatures and lines and hands that sign

galamsey, they call us
we are illegal miners
after the same thing as those licensed ones really
(the aura of licenses)
(the aura of survival)
the desire to have children
we don’t have papers or permits
sometimes we use mercury
it gets into the water
the children have sores and rashes
but our operation is the same if
no funding from the government
no sustainability
no heavy equipment just our hands
grassroots plunder
I take from the earth with my own hands
economy is not abstract here
there’s economy and the economy
burning down the skin of the legs of the girl down the river
like the skin of a grape
she will be a porter like her mother
and carry
nuggets from the earth
the newspapers say it’s criminal
we know
it’s just criminal
on a smaller scale

we take gold out of the earth
we take and we take it

we were born here in the gold
nothing will make us stop


hope, like gold
can be traded

wrested from the ground with mercury
how many rashes and rivers to extract this hope?
hope is a dirty word here
a nugget covered in dirt

they send in the journalists for human rights
(as opposed to the ones who aren’t)
who cut tiny openings through which
the story comes in spurts
between the squeeze of the lede and the nut graf
and the two line quotes
gold and mercury coming out
between business finance culture leisure


we travel from town to town
she carries and she cooks
and when I come home covered in mercury
she hides me in her body
she hides me in her body to hold me back from the world


Canada goes for gold
gold standard
gold rush
gold wash
gold collar worker
gold digger


men make nations
and call them she
draw borders, set limits, regulate and sell off rights
of access
and call that project she
God bless our homeland Ghana
and make our nation great and strong
as it lives this divided life
what men say it is
and all the things it really is.


Gold running beneath the children’s feet
under those mud huts and malnourished children, the news says
in an imagined whisper
they don’t even fuckin know it
Post a Comment