Becoming Ememe

I saw you
Heard my name
Upon your lips
I could swear
You called before
I was born.

I watched you
Heard you sing
The forest song
While I clung
To your back
In the yard.

I was carried
In your arms
You balanced me
On your laps
Put your left breast
In my mouth.

If I cry,
Papa will ask
Why I cried
Before I drank
The tears of
The palm tree.

You gathered me
Plus a dozen other boys
In a circle.
You harvested tears
Of the palm tree
Mixed it with tart

Gave me to
Drink my fill.
I passed the gourd
To the other boy
‘Till it orbited
The circled throng.

You marked my
Left forefinger
With the carved knife
Stung my lips
With your signet
For recall.

Each of us stood
Like candlesticks
Without light
Upon our wicks.
We became one
Together whole.

Exchanging voices
Gingerly to a
Husky monotone
We arose to
Become men of
The forest tribe.

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