Friday, September 09, 2016


Hamon jp, "Zanskarie woman wearing a perak
(traditional headdress) composed of turquoises
," 1991

In Old French it was called Turkish stone,
a conflation of those who’d traded the
gems with the gem itself: the sky, dug by
hand in Persia. The Diné also know this
stone, how its gender’s male if bluer, or
female when more green. And there are
others still—like a checkout clerk I saw
consoling a woman who’d forgotten her
name, her money, what she was buying,
where she lived—a checkout clerk who,
in brilliant turquoise eyeshadow, told me
she wore the stone, its color to brighten
the gray sadness she saw all around her.
Who could blame her, on her feet all day
at the checkout, this infinite mother of
patience in her raiment of summer sky?

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