- Inside Us the Dead (The NZ-born Version)
Albert said, “inside us the dead” maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely if my body could recall those connections there are only silences.
I am bound this place time and space the vā with the past is broken.
Even when pregnant my body feels like a ship lost in water afloat, remote, solitary and heaving with seasickness.
I did not feel the mercury line connecting those before me to their destiny.
I am not capable of thinking this blood is a ripple in an ocean of our blood / I am the next wave of a tide that has been coming for a long time / this vein leads back to my bones. [End Page 281]
This is what I have learned from books. I am an individual.
But I suspect my body remembers you all.
The curve of my legs, the shape of my fingers, the face of my son.
Yes, every limb, every bend every bone is a recollection of who has been before.
A memory of all the bodies that have been the making of me.
Inside us the dead.
This poem also appears in my book A Well Written Body, with painting by Delicia Sampero (Wellington: Huia Press, 2008). (See review, this issue, 488–491.) [End Page 282]
Karlo Mila’s book, Dream Fish Floating (2005), won Best First Book in the poetry section of the 2006 Montana Literary Awards. Her second book, A Well Written Body (2008), is a collaboration with artist Delicia Sampero and combines paintings and poetry. Both books were published by Huia Press. She is completing a PhD in Sociology at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.