He looked like my first love, from Avila,
dark eyes with something behind them that was hard.
He pulled me from a boat licking against a pier
far away from my home,
although the sound of the old wood
was like my grandmother’s rocking chair.
I was sent to be watchful
pero asustado realmente y solamente,
I remember drinking something pink
that made me dizzy;
and later driving with him
down streets filled with snow.
It was night far too long when I realized
that in this place there was no day.
I was wearing hiking boots and full skirt,
the knife that they gave me cold and hard
against my ankle.
The shawl he put around me was soft and black
like his eyes as he told me it was his mother’s.
I knew trust wasn’t a word any longer
but I did it anyway.
Everything was from the time before,
except I knew that in the layers of my shirt
I still carried my cell phone.
So, in the back room out of sight of the mirrors
I watched Fernando make a deal with some gringo
(all the time that song, “Hernando’s Hideaway” playing).
And I wanted to dance close with someone
no, that’s not true with him,
because his eyes looked into me and saw
that I was really not me at all,
but someone else,
and I wanted to tell him to be careful,
he was the only one that knew.
Then I dialed your number
and it rang and rang and rang
and no one answered.
Pink Mimosa shades like umbrella over yard
Spilling memory of the dig of youth’s slender arms
Feathered and fragile reminders of the cost of time
And my curved anticipation waiting to be rhyme
Where does one go to hear the hymn of a chorus
Of neighborhoods where memory is buried in a forest
Where blackberry brambles hold the tattered paperback
With pages turned down next to a bottle in a paper sack
We slid into the culvert with honey hungry thoughts
And touched the satin place of friends' forget me not
Even bled into each other’s wounded brotherhood
You said though I was just a girl I was still pretty good
The culvert’s still a cut of land all filled in redwood trees
And blackberries are the jungle land of children still I see
And the sweet taste of the fruit of youth lingers on my tongue
Where you and I made promises that could never be undone
I will dance the room around
turn my toes on dusty wood
skinny my hips in closet cloth
to beguile awhile in silken should
The minutes have cheated my day long
torn to pieces afternoon's ebb
and Friday night is turning on
a light that's made for dance instead
I'll find a hand that knows the way
With a soft touch made of maps
that breathes my hair across the glass
and knows the secret of my lack
Bright as air 'round summer stars
on sky still holding dusk in pink
the telescope will find my name
written with Friday's dancing ink
Within the holy tome of breath
open to the sky's watch,
the dropping-down stars
consort with the bubblegum
and comic books of my old belief.
Under this cloth of pink air,
who listens as I dream,
beating my thoughts into words,
while not even birds awake?
Time takes me forward
as I come screeching back,
my talons whipping clouds into rain
and my innocent eyes alive.
Fragile, like a leaf the paper tears,
darned to the fabric of time
with ancient, wizened, invisible hands
that gather pages I will write, new.
Her cheeks like blossoms
suddenly bloom from the chill
—Medusa, with thanks to Martie Odell-Ingebretsen for today’s fine poems and pix!
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