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in her belly button, i hid the universe

sparkling impossibility,
magnificent horror of all that’s unknown,
that great big expanse of wonder.

i hid it there,
folded in on itself a million times over,
small and imperfect,
rolled tight inside the round coil of where she once connected to me

that long umbilical stretch running generations back
linking her to me to mother to grandmother to lineage long past lost but walking still,
same footprints generations renewed,
soft imprints trailing behind trauma and laughter and love and loss
the tired urgency of inertia
forward momentum carrying her now, too.

in her mouth i hid weapons
dangerous and respectable,
awkward but never objectionable

weapons capable of shifting,
creating landscape and opinion
of making lasting impression
but never maiming

i hid them there
poised to go off,
the click of her teeth the onset of world war (III)
tempered only by the heavy weight of responsibility
brandishing the banner of knowing
that cataclysmic injury is unnecessary

that adaptation, modification, variation lead to necessary innovation

i hid the revolution in her lungs
the rebellion in her hands
a radical riot in her belly
transformation in her thighs

so that on the day she sings and claps and laughs and dances

the world will change.

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