The redbirds chit as they chase overhead— dun-blush girl, blazoned boy. I was up before they were, scuffling by a harvestman legging his way (home? to hide?) and listening to my breath. A jay, a jay yells and drops a feather at my feet, then laughs: “Made you look!” To begin under an ink-stained moon as crickets and peepers shimmer, to end sweat-soaked, breathless in gold light? Dayenu, surfeit of joy.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
"Shrine at Covered Wells, Arizona" by Tillman
This bright forge has burnt my heart away. My thoughts all charred by the sun, calcined ribs crack as I breathe: too parched for tears, I’m gutted. And look! Even in a grave, no cool shade—it’s bleached by the white, hot sky.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
We scrubby little things who do well where it’s scraped earth and caliche nod to each other. A squat of prairie tea, a dash out then back by a spotted whiptail lizard, a bustling caterpillar hunter (Calosoma affine) as black as the night I usually wander in, and me, moving through the understory, the slightest wind carrying the croton’s homespun incense: resin and dust.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Photograph by ESO/B. Tafreshi, 2012
This is the time we break our fast, when the sun at last weakens and the waxing moon rises. I reach into clouds, part the darkness to take you, o pearl, o moon, in my hands: an illusion, but your light on my fingers is no less precious. The first thing we must do in the dimming is to slake our thirst; after the long burnt day, I could drink the mountains dry of dew.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
I think about those people of mine, those who sewed uncut gemstones into their hems as trader’s insurance, those who went with slaves and brocade and sharp steel, who brought back silk and aloes, those whose names I’ll never know. Did the needle of loneliness prick them as they embroidered their tales? Did it prick the way it does me, as I stitch myself to a place by way of the names of flowers?
Saturday, July 04, 2015
"Scotoma," Samira Yamin, Video Projection.
Look at the sun long enough, and all that’s left is a scotoma of shadow and radiance - not the face of a boy who was made to watch as you murdered his family, not your own face (and who would dare remember you as you’d been, when once a child?) I know someone who told me the things you’d done, and I laughed at how stupid you were, thinking you could eat Death and live. Is it so hard to believe the simplest mistake is what’s left you blind now, thinking you’d gaze at the sun through the darkest glass and steal its glory? You who all those ghosts stalk, as your blindness grows.
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
It’s those little deaths piling up on my doorstep that break me down. The mud-stained yellow of a magnolia warbler, eye half-shuttered, one wing broken and spilling bones; the now unreadable parchment of what was once a house gecko. All these small wild things stilled, and no witnesses save for butterflies who’ve come to sip what’s left. I’m fit for sadness small enough to carry in hand, but know bigger grief waits patiently, stalking me.