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                                                                      Renato Rosaldo


I Lick the Mud

She walks closer,
a black robe that undulates,
unfurls, and folds me
in her dark embrace,
whispers inaudibly,
draws me to her lips.
I bathe in her black wave,
kiss her temples,
lick the mud from her body:
hint of chocolate, basil, and lime.
Her tongue strokes each vertabra
of my stiff spine. Your back, she says,
carries what you cannot face.