Saturday, April 17

Cold in my hands,

in this dream, I hold a carven silver pomegranate. Scarlet juice runs down my arms, garnet seeds scatter, I am bound in a ring of peony petals, palest blush matching my cheek. 

I bear white gauze into the summer starlight, I tattoo myself in woad. My fingertips are stained the color of your eyes when they have gone dark with desire, and I can paint on the mossy stones each shuddering breath that burns beneath my skin, reddening the pale. 

I taste toasted coconut and desert air, dry and scented with cactus blossom, I come clothed in spider-silk and pearls to the sun. I am blooming, blushing too. This year is marked in pinks. In magenta shading to deep violet. 

At the pollen-bright center my body lies, an invitation writ in gold for a kiss--oh! Just one kiss, to begin! I write all my longings in a shaky hand, posted to the wandering bee. 

Saturday, April 10

Doradilla

Do you know the resurrection plant? The false rose of Jericho found tightly wrapped
into a ball that looks like string? They sell them at the side of El Camino Real
next to the corn dolls that look like blank bisque pottery, like my tía in stage makeup
and the lime-green ribbons for folklórico at the bright sunset of each month, skirts whirling, 
eternally crowned with the huge white silk dahlias she loved

as big around your palm that dwarfed the saucers at the cafe I used to haunt. My sun
still rose and set on you, and the afterimage of that dizzying light tasted like the slow
burn of your smile, discretion darker than a summer midnight, sweeter than cafecito 
pouring thick into a paper cup on a counter along the busy Miami streets where
we have never walked together. Not yet.

I do not talk about the drums echoing wildly through the brilliant desert night,
some days I cannot speak at all--but how long can one false rose stay curled
so tightly in on itself that it could be mistaken for something long dead? 
Even in a city of sand and glass, the rain can roll in, thirst can be quenched,
time retrieved from drought's grasping hand.

I rise again and again from my own ashes at your whispered invocation,
the walls I built around my heart spun from moonlight and flax that shiver at a touch,
the green radiating outward, relieving the strain, relaxing each limb.

And Abuelita said: I chose this name because I wanted you to heal,
like tatarabuela, I wanted you to touch the wretched stones that 
rise in each of us and set them to rest the way your eyes dissolved my
aching bones in joy when you laughed at your own birth.

I've always preferred marigolds and the Moon, so I never bought one,
never brought any of them home to rest while
I gently pour water into a hard-baked terracotta dish so I could watch
it unfurl and bless us with so many beginnings.

Saturday, March 27

kshanti

I want to taste the end of days on your skin, I want
to watch your eyes when my breath catches. Tell me
what you see, through the blush? Light descending,
time running out, the thread unwinding? This isn't
safe, it never can be. Stone sparks against water,

a mystery whose price runs high. Always on the edge 
of a conflagration. Still, I want to breathe it in, I 
want to drive those fires into my skin where I fall.
What is the feeling in my kintsugi heart that is not
quite emptiness, the desire to press my face 

against your back as you drift off, the tangible
knowledge of the aching distance we put between
our physical selves? It's no accident we're like this.
Śūnyatā whispers to me just out of reach, pale and

shaking in my hands, my renunciation of desires
forever shredded by this want, this strange and
telescopic love. As if no moment has passed, and
yet as if the end of the world has come and gone.

The resin I used to repair the cracks raises welts
on others' skin. The metal you burnished into my
wounds is all that remains. Mushin--the breaks
are our history. I will not forget, will not taste
the antidote in this life. I'd have you no other way.


Tuesday, March 2

消えないで

my heart is a jackal in the desert night, makes a sound
somewhere between a sob and a peal of laughter,
is fencing the stars, slender silver stabbing against
a backdrop strewn wild and white. I dream the clouds are
swelling over the cliffside, the salt air in my mouth,
I know this. this dream where your face is imprinted
with lines from my pillow. where I place my finger

and trace in blood returning. bread rising in the kitchen,
my pulse is a muffled drum, the same as the breath
dragged from the deepest part of my lungs;

clouds dark against the sunrise,
deep blue streaked with gold and orange and violet
dim in the memory of your hair, the new light reflecting.
and I smell tangerines, I smell jasmine, I smell clove
rising from my own skin. water wants to run, water wants
to fill up your slant-smiling mouth and overflow in words
I salt away.