from paper offerings. decir: to say.
the alligator pears
alligator skin.[now] andlater
feel the wrists kiss,
the back butterfly.
loosening the lid of creosote salve.
of desertrain. depriving
A Folkloric Truth
After Carmen Giménez Smith
He doesn’t believe that with herthere is a them
with the outskirtsa win & also because
like hornsbecause with themhe wins
Alive& sleeping& deprived
He doesn’t want to be
What can be namedTomorrow
as a spark or an acheThe young
& present are put down
It stirsWhen forgetting numbs the body
but dimmers numbnessWhen it soothes
which could take them back to sleep
not as forgettingForget whispering
Who is my loathed—
& so tightened from certainty they might
mask flattery of standing still
because no one will be made mortal
How young does she look will be relevant
Bodies standing still named from separation
The answerThe airing & sidewalks
will never be unkempt arteries
Pleasure not only vanishes as fact
Definitely a dissolving
He doubts that by then
TomorrowHe’ll be a splat on history
“She is two things at once: Human and Fossil.”
Brown skin the seat of memory. Watered from the belly. Faucet I have forgotten.
Twins in a mound of mud before this way or that. Can we privilege the black
hair rivered over the left, before the right cliffs of her shoulders. This way over that.
Take the colors, trails when she leans, her head tilting the sun. One sarape. Print mocked. A long walk under clouds crying tears of acid from the mines.
If we bury the children under the Juniper tree, string the seeds around our necks
we can ignore the herd, become the skin of a drum, later. Ghost beads and bleating
goats. I am distrustful of the rectangular pupil. Of getting lost near the mountain:
north-trending. Mesa de las Vacas with seams of coal running. Underground stampede.
Stamp us east of sacred lands where resistance is the knotting of a leaky hose,
brown skin at the seat of memory. Watered from the belly. A faucet we have forgotten
when we bury the children under the Juniper tree, string the seeds around our necks.
Plant huizache. Plant mesquite. Sing of brittle bush and cascalote. Of barrel
and of creosote. Of scorpion weed and coral bean. The desert’s floral dusting
where my grandmother put a marble on my mother’s tongue, a penny between her brows to damn the river of blood coming down her little nose.
Birds Without Warrants Arrest The Silence
to pluck their words.
Perch telephone wires,
He is safe
to sit next to
when his lips stay pressed.
The protracted beast.
Unsteady trigger tongue
(Endless chatter) clanking
silverware and ceramics.
Teeth and lengua.
Where are the trees?
Leaves carrying disaster in the wind.
He will end in preposition.
Without searching the hours
and their mouths
are dry with promise.
Capped inside mason jars: the long scream,
the lost toast,
the love note
purloined off cellar shelves.
Tainted vino tinto.
Tinted glass birds without warrants
arrest the silence,
the names the sky takes
when the sun is falling.
Lovely Little Fucker
The two of us sit like large unopened bandages.
Tightly bound fabric strips around
a child’s folding chair. Wire hangers
coiled create human armatures.
The curves of guitars and rifles
map the intersection of my words.
Then belittling ends.
You sheathed in bright yarn.
Gift-wrapped boulder for the lake.
I never loved—lost child
The slow rupture of capillary.
Winding and winding
in my head: betrayal.
A ritual of flight and fight,
of weaving without looms.
Mystery provokes speculation.
Tangle me on your tongue:
My lovely little fucker.
Say it like you mean it.
Upbraiding our fingers: Silk patterns.
The mole we both have on the middle
is a spider web of culture.
Confusing builder’s home and death trap.
Solitude will be the somber confirmation,
entire traditions invalidated by failure.
What you kept coming back to:
Color, texture, swirly adventuring.
The codified set of knives behind my smile.
Indistinguishable in many ways
from the extraction of gin from a cocktail.
Today I hold images of science: of nests, you,
neural wiring. My completed self teasingly visible.
How do I untangle this dark revelation
when every single part of me is lost?
To the great spasms of cruelty
punctuating the air we breathed:
The belligerence of impulse,
words slapped against your cheek.
Staging The Invisisble
“Tears are liquefied brain”
Except for the odd ha-ha here and there,
A little stream or brook
you can ghost-read love me
into the last (and negated word)
I would like my love to die.
We crave enchantment
even though it makes us gullible.
The etymology of attraction
has to do with the lure,
a song of a fish at the end of a line.
She lives now in a foreign version
of growing together.
Agit ensemble (if we truly grow).
Maybe fleeing east
from the islands of sensibility,
we’ve pulled ourselves into a lie.
We scoundrels of the world.
My door remains imperceptibly ajar.
All at once, a foreboding shadow:
Staging the invisible.
If the latter is lucky, blessed with an eye,
our lives our endless.
The way a cat is about the house.
Our language consists of silence.
The language of action:
A slamming door, a cup of water to the face.
Silent figures still. Aren’t altogether read.
Love, a clumsy retreat.
A dog and a cat sharing a basket.
A caged parrot and a bowled fish,
sharing a tiny table.
Wars arise for lesser things,
to overdo the sign of undoing. How many times?
How mathematics help us to know ourselves.