there is no village here. no blood pact of grands, no secret soup on the stove for a tired mother. i’ve grown feral. i sustain life with whiplash instinct. my babies are homegrown, i am the first of my kind tilling the soil for new life. the soup on the stove is my own, the carrots and potatoes i tore from their roots did not argue. find me in the kitchen, a baby on one hip, dirt under my fingernails, taking long sips from a cracked bowl.