Terra Unfirma

Hello, Mom, I’m scared.

I found                            yesterday –

something

by the red walkway.

I thought of you last year when I didn’t grind the coffee beans enough.

 

Daddy, I can’t find you.

The last time your face was your own, I was drawing flowers in sidewalk chalk.

 

Sister, I feel your back against mine.

We both            in opposite directions.

push

Your golden smile withered up.

 

Lady, the way back is over there.

Don’t help me –

the way back is weary.

We all have one of these

There’s a little monster in my chest.

(No, he’s not my heart; he’s underneath my rib cage. He might nibble on spleen, I wouldn’t know.)

Sometimes I don’t notice him.

On Sunday I got bad news, and I felt him jump.

One could draw parallels between his movements and the stomach butterflies that we all get, but his fists are no wispy wings.

I worry that if ever he were to ever dig a tunnel through my stomach lining, he’d come across one of those fluttering insects.

What do you call an introduction where one party munches on the other?

My little monster has no manners.

I’ve become suspicious that he’s cancerous.

(This is the type of thing that students learn in Biology these days)

He doesn’t grow much except to puff out his chest, but if the definition of malignant means he’s moving around my body through the circulatory system (yes, this is the definition), then he’s surely metastatic (oh, I know he is).

It’s true that when he moves it’s never down my legs or arms. He could be smart that way.

But then again, that wouldn’t exactly qualify as spreading, would it?

Perhaps he has a mind of his own. Just like me.

Deep in the Night She Goes Crashing

Deep in the night she goes crashing.

She has feather duster wings and a festering hope–

She has the solace of darkness on her shoulders and in her lungs and cradled in the curve of her elbow–

Bizarre.

There are twenty-four brothers with their arms around her calves–

Sixty sisters, shrieking on the door step–

She goes crashing.

Beautiful? She is?

Old friends swoop in from the attic to perch on her shoulders, to sweet-gossip and trade nightmares–

This is a colorfast world, and she is vermillion.

Her shoulder blades are scored and the little bird she has in her rib cage is sagging, but

She still goes, deep in the night.

 

Postcard from Cusco

Women sit outside homes like potted plants here

with worn knees (so cross!) and fluffed wool for dyeing.

We visited them as we ate guinea pig and threw

the taste out of the taxi window. You’d be surprised

how the skewers turned to charcoal in our mouths.

I’d left my camera behind at the rocky overlook;

We didn’t give a tip for the extra picture.

she.

on the sidewalk a heart pumps oxygen

and legs pump spirit

tearing at the soil

aggravating with worn rubber soles and the force

of a body in motion.

birds lumber by

lackluster battery-eyes leering

their wings cling closely –

frosted over by the cold

they wait – stationary, for the lights

and the sun grows heavier on the bruised skyline.

bliss crows

as she soars by

burning up the cement with her legs.

her filmy-eyed spectators gawk

at her freedom.

and each feels it pass them fleetingly

before it tails her around a corner

and fades from their view.

her feet bite the earth,

spitting gravel

snarled mane trailing behind her.

she streaks by the fowl in the road,

their dull eyes twitching,

engines faltering.

watching the lights,

watching the signs.

the birds confine themselves to the road,

letting the lights make up their minds for them.

She has no lights

just a world

with roads

and legs

that

run