The Red Skirt

by Lorelei Bacht


It could be worse. We could have been
made to live on the plain, where
the wind never ceases.

I am turning into my mother: I too
have learned to sharpen knives and wipe
the red off my hands in my skirts.

The forest tall swallows our daily shouts,
it makes a feast of them. Undiluted,
the anger feeds on our small

community. No wind blows here, where
we have been walled in by trees so tall
only a fraction of the light of day

descends. In the morning, I gather tools.
I do not pray. It is not what we do.
There is no time for cathedrals

when all is green, and dark and echoing.
sometimes, I sit, alone and wonder what
could have become of us if we

had stayed with you: the road, the bank.
I skin a mole, start a fire, and think:
Is this a life worth living? I do not know

what keeps growing us back like green
moss on wet bark, despite the black
of boots, cowardly growls of dogs –

Yes, yes, you can have it:
the bowl, the chain, the house.




Lorelei Bacht (she/they) is a person, a poet, queer, multi-, living in Asia. Her work has appeared / is forthcoming in Beir Bua, Strukturriss, Abridged Magazine, Riverbed Review, Postscript, PROEM, SWWIM, After the Pause, Hecate, and others. She is also on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer and on Twitter @bachtlorelei