evan j peterson



Kali Yuga


You must lick your wounds with fire.

You must dance at the end of days.


You must take fire into your throat

and hold it there until the end of days.


When you smell disease stalking,

rattle your necklace of skulls in defiance.


When age has wrung your womb of eggs

pierce your skin and bleed in defiance.


When all of your cattle have died but one,

sacrifice this cow. She is yours, not Death’s.


You must dip your cup into rivers of blood

and draw clear waters, not death.


When the honeybee flies into your mouth,

tie its stinger into a knot with your tongue.


When you make love, do not be idle–

seize the pleasure from your lover’s tongue.


When empires approach from the West,

East and North, turn South and spit iron.


You must shake your breasts at slavers,

invite them to suckle, split them with iron.


When your feet have been cut from you,

you must grow hooves and outrun tigers.


Kali will bite the rabbit feet off your legs

and teach you to outrun tigers.