Camille Rankine

I was born in a forest.
I don’t know my name.
I was born on a mountain but changed
my mind. I was born
in the desert. All my people died
in the fire and left me
with the gods. They called me dust.
How it burned me. I come from the sea,
I believe. I come from beryl,
aquamarine. All my people
rode their horses off
the edge of the world and left me
on your doorstep. They called me
sorrow. I don’t know my name.
I come from wartime. How it burned me.
I was born aflame, I believe. A sun
so intentional. A sun in repose, a sun
in continuous sunset, sinking into the ground.