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Natalie Gasper

Natalie Gasper

Natalie Gasper is an internationally performed poet whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Write Launch, The Hickory Stump, The Remembered Arts Journal, Noon by Arachne Press, and ellipsis…literature & art, amongst others. She works as an interviewer and reader for The Nasiona. Find her on Twitter @NatalieGasper.


Excavating a Mass Grave near Tucuman, Argentina

Do you feel them?

Their cracked lips leave
cold, spine-shattering kisses
on my neck, their gnarled,
overworked fingers
caress my curls.

They linger, unable,
or maybe unwilling,
to leave this place,
where their murderers
forced them to dig
their own graves.

They pass through me,
their anger so intense
it boils my blood as they drop
fragments of memories
into my soul, of mothers
rocking infants and fathers
toiling in a wheat field
humming the songs
of their ancestors.

They moan and scream
and shriek into a void,
mourning beautiful lives
taken too soon, calling out
to dreams they never
had a chance to know.

I brush away another layer
of dirt, their charred bones
intertwined, blurring
where one body begins
and another ends, closer in death
than they were in life.

I completed my ninth skeleton
today, a child, and took her fragile
hand in mine, hoping
wherever she ended up
is nicer than here.
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