from the desert

23 Jun

another map arrived

dropped on the back porch

by a golden bird

as were the others

this one too was

hand painted

tidy key off to the right

as i smoothed out

the soft paper it occurred to me

that this map was of only mountains

intricately, carefully, slowly,

hand painted

mountains

imposing, hulking, shadow casters

hand painted

mountains

hundreds of them scattered

in alien formation

across the paper

i honest to god had to dare myself

to trace a few of them

with my fingertips

before the map

shuddered

twitched

snapped itself shut

as though

i never

saw my name on the

top of an impressive peak

after

all

from the eyrie

23 Jun

it started on a weekday

birds bullshitting

on the fence line

one lonesome dangle

of wisteria on the

thickening vines

of the same fence

a morning mind

clearing the night

then

everything went still

except the slow

moving

dust

in my kitchen window

an idea

caught a breeze

flickered in the

light

when i opened

my mouth in wonder it

dove deep

i placed my left

had on

my belly

an acute flutter of an ache

heavy with

honey

i gripped the sink

with my right hand

as the stillness outside

made room for the

ocean inside

what’s the deal with

this

saltwater

and

goodbye

from the cockpit

19 Jun

here i collect the

eager harvest

line each piece up in

my kitchen window

not ripe yet

i whisper

a secret to

each plum

heart

say true

all the way to

the pits

there in the window

they fatten

fall over on their

swollen sides

you eat them

leaving the pits

in a perfect

crescent moon

shape

sun wizened

elders

on my counter

here i swallow

all of them

plant them in

my belly

sing until

their shoots

push through

my ribs

here seven stories

found

sun

became

shadows

double dutch

15 Jun

in the early morning

i lay out all of the things

about her

six love letters

fourteen photos

spanning two decades

maybe more

one name tag

last name only

one photo of me

age six

i am scowling

two photos of

strangers

scowling

the rest are all

her smiling

one publication

about a specific

species of plant

one that is delicate

hard to grow

her writing

a simple box

medium wood

four letters

her

ashes

early in the morning

i pack up the things

eleven photos

her smiling

haven’s familiar

14 Jun

you keep a jar of your hair

from when you were

a girl

in times when

you want linear

in the middle of

beautiful

chaos

no you

don’t need anything

but the sun just

overhead

wood floors under

your fine

deerskin

feet

three

fruit trees

growing in your

belly

my life goal

darling

is to watch you paint

while i write from

your floor

twine fingers after

grow old

inside

our

creative orchard

from the valley

13 Jun

i want to paint

this

broad strokes

of flames and lava

make new islands

with it

encase it in

tree sap

until it ambers

nourish it

with blood

until it fattens

on the vine

make women

weep with it

spool it out

over a bridge

until it’s tentacles

reach

the ocean

let it sink to

the deepest

dark

become orange

coral

become

forever

from the quarry

11 Jun

i could call you wolf

put my hand out

you might attack

bite until you find

bone

i could sing songs

of my people

lift my face to

my favorite

planet

put my hand out

you might attack

bite down until

you find bone

i might weave stories

all night without

ceasing

about how many times

i’ve wanted

to stand next to you

in the

translucent proudness

of a

Mexican primrose

put my hand out

from the grapevine

10 Jun

when i say

i am learning to love you

it includes scraping back

the meat and

finding the bone

it means counting

fractures

running the tips of

my fingers

along

every

thorny

break

this involves

marrow

as much as

i can eat

while

sitting at your patient feet

it means numbering

every piece of you

to gently return

fully

seen

from the trail head

7 Jun

when you fell

on my path

wicked and beautiful

matted fur

claws out

labored

breath

i knew immediately

i would suck

the venom out

if you let me

though the poison

has been there for

so long

the wound

nearly invisible

if you let me

close my eyes

lay hands on

your animal

body

match your breath

with my breath

the night creeping

cold fingers around us

i could swallow the

venom

store it down deep

maybe when you are

well again

you can hold my hair

while i vomit

someone’s else’s

heartache

from the deep end

3 Jun

we press our palms

against the sky

tear down constellations

let them fall

at our feet

become birthroot

around our ankles

become kudzu

around our hearts

we hunt in the same

season

sometimes in tandem

mostly apart

admiring kills

leaving teeth

offerings

at the mouth of

our caves

we erupt on

different islands

lava and ash

rage and sorrow

responsibility

to maintain

peace

we cool down

forget again

sleep until

we are

electricity