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She stretched and asked me to hold out my hand;
extinguishing a cigarette in it, she sniffed the air and said
“there's a fire afield,” which alarmed me, but she
wouldn't say where and I couldn't stop it anyway—to show
me she closed her fingers in my hair and shook until my turkey
neck went wobbling, all the while her hissing whispers,
“consuming children. Consuming barns and trapped animals.
Consuming the new paint, consuming the soft of the land,
drying it, searing it hard and shut.” She was crying and I
got motion sick; it was a noise I had long heard as distant,
and its new nearness brought vertigo. Now she could beat me without
any pretense and spit out my word, my “useless” and finally
I could see the wildfire strike, the wheat made torches.
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In her new book, Danish poet Olga Ravn writes with open love, pity, and compassion for her strange yet familiar creations.
Draconian individual punishment distracts from systemic change and reinforces the cruelest and most racist system of incarceration on the planet.
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