if you gathered them they would be everyone.

gather them.

recognize in them your jawline, your wet eyes, your long-fingered hands, seeking what but this multitude. if you gathered them they would not fit on this island. they would spill back into the ocean whence they came. when you gather them they will have fins and claws and names you do not know.

gather them anyway.

some will look you in the eye, some are too microscopic to see. if you don’t gather them all you will never be free. if you gathered them you could not hold them, scold them, demand back what you think is lost. gather them today or your soul is the cost. gather the ones who sold and who bought and who tossed overboard. gather the erstwhile children in the name of the lord. gather the unclaimed fathers, the ones with guns and with swords. gather them up. with your hands. with your relationship to land. with your chin set. you are not done yet. you never will.

gather them more. gather them still.

they will unfound you and surround you unfind you and unwind you travel to you unravel through your own needle. gather the thread. collect your dead.

But who are “we”? Ethno or Sociopoetics, 80