In the narrowest of hours
hold yourself together with the words.
In the ache of the silent crawl to dawn
document your blood
feel the dirt rinse itself from your shins.
This is not a manifesto.
These are not the trails of your banner as it dips
in the shallow end of the lake.
There is no bleeding heart,
other than the one you tear
from the breast of the stag, folded at your feet.
You are a rifle, girl
as you hold yourself against the sky
the clouds split; cirrus streaks in your hair
a halo fair
•••Shivanee Ramlochan participated in the Cropper Foundation’s Residential Writers Workshop in 2010. She runs the book review blog, Novel Niche, and is working on a collection of short fiction that focuses on the interrogation of desire, gender and language in the Caribbean. She lives and works in Trinidad and Tobago.