I read somewhere there’s an
orchid whose flower is shaped
like the female of a long dead
species of bee.
Big, bitter fruits that no one eats,
drop to the ground and rot—the
only food remaining for roaming
giants we’ll never meet.
In the shadows of the Joshua
tree, lie memory. A refusal to
acknowledge. We are here,
they say, and they are not,
and we don’t know what that means.
If only a shadow remembers,
who among can decipher their
silence? The darkness? Inky
tendrils coiling around bones
and memories of bones? If acrid
fruit rots on the ground without
its predator, that does
not cease making it prey. Time is
a predator, eyes in a thousand
directions, claws reaching so deep
in our throats, the first mother chokes.
The bird in my voice is a song
I went down to the river with a
haunting in my throat. Holy water
relieve these ghost—we carry the dead
in our mouths.
I was in my grave clothes, dress till
muddy from my old burial. Clawed my
way out the barren bed and heard birdsong—
a dusty kind of forgiveness.
The bird in the nest was dead, but song
still absolved my antique sorrow.
I carried that bird to the river, laid
her to rest. Song, now caught in my
throat, ripped through my voice—
a bloodied, down, prayer.
Harvest Moon is a Command
Moon—ripe for picking soon.
Need my ivory ladder once more,
satin spiderweb rope, silver-lidded
bucket, lined with stardust—the only
tools that harvest portions of moonlight
from the sweeping satin dress of black
skies. Each chip an amber pearl of light, set
in an asteroid bezel. Cold connect the
band, no one can compete with the
heat of a dying star. I’ve asked atoms
inside my body to find a way, but
they say only once, and you will never
see the final result. I wait for the
day I hold a flame without shaking,
keeping a piece of myself to myself,
even if it’s the worst part.