That night we found the moon
Broken in half at the bottom
Of a small ravine near the base
Of the Sandia Mountains
Christ, I thought it was a soldier
Or a homeless person or maybe
Just some trash washed up in
An arroyo, surrounded by goathead
Skeletons and glowing horned toads.
We had no idea. We looked up toward
The sky and there was nothing.
It was like we were not even supposed
To think about it, as if it were global warming
Or animal extinction or police brutality.
For hours we worked with duct tape,
Soft wire, needle and thread and got
It back together, hoisting it as high
As we could from this blank mesa.
Somehow it got the idea. It rocked
Itself into position once again.
The wind kicked up, sure it did.
The tides remembered what was
Supposed to happen. We took
A long drink of water and headed
Back down toward the city.
It seemed a very long way off.
PART OF A MORNING
Yes, the sky was a different blue then.
It didn’t hurt to look at it. It could slice
The edges off of insects hovering in air.
There was a kind of electricity there
That formed a membrane over our skin.
The words could get through. The water
Could find a way to venture within our bloodstream.
Insects hovered near us. They mistook us for beings
With skin. We opened their nerves up.
They turned to fields of dried grass.
A wind that never had a name finds
A way across these fields, makes bridges
Even as we try to understand the differences
Between gravel and gold, old friends
And woods filled with jackals. I mistake
Broken glass for teeth. I beg my dogs
To show me a better way past this place.
They know what I want, put their noses
In the air. I run as fast as I am able to follow
Them. They want the hilltops and the clear
Air even more than I can imagine.
I went back to the edge,
The ledge, the cliff, the top
Of the building, the top of the waterfall.
I told myself there was nothing to fear.
It was clear that these places were made
To hold the ends of the rainbow. A bridge
Of angles to the deepest of centers. A ring
Given to pulse from the mirror, an aureate
Path that suddenly appears, splashed
Into the light, both terrible and seamless.
Eternity, only an exaggerated mirror.
It is all that holds the body there.
When one leaves such a place
One has wings or one dies,
Exactly the same as how we proceed
Through each day, everything appearing
Like no other day, ledge after edge, the incredible
Beauty only seen from the top of the greatest
Waterfall, taking our breath away.
STILL LIFE WITH RABBIT
A rabbit reaches a spot
Near the top of a small rise
Close to the edge of a meadow.
In a space between two bluff-
Colored rocks, it disappears
Into a hole.
Soon, he is resting in a comfortable
Chair before a fire. The room
Is sparsely decorated, yet filled
With a glow that, seemingly, comes
Directly from the earth
Itself. The rabbit dreams
Of flowers, beautiful flowers,
Large and flavorful. The summer
Stretching away on all sides, forever.
Bees see this dreaming as they fly
Overhead, pausing to inspect this delicate
Light infusing the grass
With splendid vibrations.
This rabbit shall be here
Forever like this. Its slow
Breathing matched to these rhythms
As we read them. He stirs
In his sleep, feels the place
Surrounding, listening as these lines
Continue around him.
The rabbit knows that words too
Sleep between encounters,
A steely silence,
Not a waiting at all,
Stirred only by eyes
Sweeping through these words,
Driving nameless winds before them.
ON FINDING AN OLD DREAM ON HANDEL’S BIRTHDAY
The paper was a brilliant blue,
Though ragged, torn and pushed through
With holes that let the words unfold
Themselves, full of summer and enclosing
Scene upon scene, each described and beamed,
Like coffered ceilings, nooks full of such
Affairs that, when undone, set reeling
Long gazes of longer yet, such feeling,
That when splayed out upon neglected pages
Of blue like this, have songs, bound to each
Word and sung on and on as to some fictive muse
Until it has consumed itself, mere ashes of a dream
That once breathed names and real dragons,
Dancing on long-forgotten plains, and steam;
Valley after valley dressed to half-conceal, all in steam.
THE GHOUL OF SOULS
She loved these half-digested things,
Cooked and uncooked, fleshy and raw,
Burnt on their edges, warm with traces
Of their origins still attached.
Hearts that had been broken,
Tears, fresh from flowing, hot and salty.
Words thrown in anger,
Unprocessed and deliberate,
But most of all
The greatest of her delights,
Old and worn or still brand new,
Tested or untested, the souls of men.
Jealousy has its own thick rooms.
What might be seen from a distance
As languid and almost touching
Cuts of clouds, pouring across
A perfect blue sky are landscapes
Only remembered, as blindness
Drives us from our rooms, begging
Us to say that, indeed, she was the most
Beautiful, surrounded by bees and
The scaly dust of butterfly wings.
Closer now, we see how they are torn.
The oranges and bruised bright greens
Reflected against these clouds were
Rain, filling their bags until they burst
And all was flooded, from these
Rooms of jealously. A venom from
The heart, bent over and eating itself.
These are not butterflies at all.
The air itself is being shredded
Even as we gaze upon it.
Help us maintain the clarity of our
Streams of generosity as it pours
From us. We slide upon the green
Slime that mounts its conquests,
Destroys characters, bound with
Imagined lies and a greed of the soul.
We need to take the next train
Away from this horror. Do not look
Back at any of this. Soon enough
They will build their own cages,
Charging only lies and gossip
As entrance fees. We stand
At the mouth of the season
And vow our allegiance to truth
And praise for the accomplishments
Of all of those around us. So we pray.
—Medusa, with thanks to D.R. Wagner for today's poems and pix!