Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last night sleep didn't come easy
restful, whole but

came in fits and starts,
races half-started and never finished,
deciding what to do with two closing eyelids,
arguing over my heated sheets
no cool spot in sight
save the crevice between the mattress

and the wall.
I woke up to see a spider and its web
swaying in a gray breeze outside.
A sunrise overcast and diffused by hanging ornamental clouds.

What does this look like, we wonder,
through the window of someone else

someone who doesn't hear the horn of the boats
in the channel below
begging the low blue bridge to raise its arms?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sometimes the Sky Falls into My Parent's House.

How is everyone
I asked my mama

said it's four feet high and rising,
her voice rising
up a beat,
up to your shoulders
weighing the weight down on scales
where doors shut out dark waters
I count seconds till I escape it,

the dry rot expressed its scathing remarks in silence
a buffer for things said
for rinse water
that promised to clean soil out of towels,
failing, leaving gaps in the day,
leaving work shirts and your son's play shirts
a bone chilling freeze.

The water's sky high and rising,
she said through the stiff receiver,

so please don't make me
the last one floating
in this house

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Woman.

Trace them

she showed her ink into inky night.

Etch them with your fingers and
I might tell you what they mean
in the pitch black
following us in the rolling rain.
If you're lucky.
You might kiss my lips, you know.

The world is iron clenched shut

I will tell young children someday from a rocking chair
but my body will be a soft cushion for the pain we know

--stroke my head, it's a porcupine in love--

but this eccentric mother will reply to you
in the dark making love to you,
tumbling over her people:

it just is.
And oh for more than that.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Worn Bristles.

He doesn't rarely look me in the eye
the eye and as he hides
behind the curtain
brushing his

his teeth
still brushing his

for twenty minutes
that become
an hour of shuffling sounds
behind the yellow curtain
at the hotel

brushing still
with worn bristles
his teeth and
tapping the window

the window at the world
through the glass.

He keeps brushing his teeth.

I Come from the Land of My Father.

Greetings from the land of fertility
where water waits your hot-soaked lips
and red flame birds sing
songs of stucco houses
of late bonfires
of eyes flashing in the sunset

We bring you pitchers of cool water
made of clay mixed with hay and damp stream dirt
full of the same water
it took me twenty one years to find,

maybe more.

Now I lie in the bush, my back on the green
among cool friends I sought for years
among the family I peel my eyes for.
They run on the heated mirror of horizon.

I lie among shoots of new growth pushing up through sod.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Anticipation, Excitement.

"I can hardly wait to return to my photographs of clouds and my essay on rain."

-Leslie Marmon Silko

I love this quote from Silko's introduction into "Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit", a book of short stories about the surrounding landscape of New Mexico.

Her excitement leaks off the page and into my skin. It is the last line before she begins to write away at her writing desk, taking pictures in the hills around her house, of rocks and sagebrush. Of things that smell grayed around the edges from sun.

I hope I can do her justice this year.