grown without water


water.

Have you seen the hummingbirds?

They're carrying the things we grew from the dirt

in their mouths.

Shape shifting in the light.

Our children's grandmother feeds them every season,

lacing the nectar with all the secrets we've carried safely here.

After she's prepared the nectar

she catches rainbows in the crystal prisms she hid in the windows

and watches as her prayers move with the sunlight

across the living room floor.

a prayer to the hummingbirds so they'll listen

And burn our secrets up when they flap their wings toward the sun.

dirt.

Below the earth and beyond the sky,

dig your feet in.

A wind is gonna come and you'll blow away

if you haven't learned to root yourself without water.

The sound of sirens

in another place

in another world

can break our will.

That world is not ours. It is not for us.

We cannot reach it.

We cannot claim it.

Even as it’s running through our veins.

They turned the desert’s spine to metal and stapled it to the earth,

to make the marrow in our bones push rust out our nails.

And still. It is not ours.

What is in us came from our grandmother who came from there

so we could come from here.

And still. It is not ours.

Can you walk with burned feet?

Have you seen a body break?

fire.

Before the year 2000

Ripped from his roots, he flew

down an arroyo into water.

Breaking everything, the water rose to swallow him.

To break him.

To break them all.

Relentless and dancing,

the world and its whispers

made a home in her eyelids that day.

Years later, the water came back again,

a perfect lover.

Inviting her down to hide among the stones

that glow in moonlight from another world.

The same night, the water came back again,

a ghost.

Turning dirt to mud,

the desert’s spine slithered over land.

And there, below its imprint,

a man was living in the dirt

buried long ago by his father

by his mother

by a whirling world.

The children’s bones are covered in their fathers’ leather skin,

their slow, careful voices- gifts from men.

The fathers here disappear with each new word learned,

as buried men often do.

An easier goodbye

because the hummingbirds have come.

air.

There’s a place where nothing lives

The sound of bones cracking breaks an endless silence.

Two breaths circle one another through the air like waves moving in and out of shore.

My breath becomes a lover

a healer

a bed.

I return to every woman I have ever been

as the air pulls me from the mountain

out over a dry sea.

Waiting there, I listen for the parting of the land

to pull me back into my footsteps

where a small hand is waiting for mine.

dirt.

Have you seen the hummingbirds?

They're carrying the things she’ll grow

from the dirt in their mouths.

Shape shifting in the light.

Soon, I’ll prepare the nectar

and watch

as my prayers move across the living room floor.

Praying the hummingbirds will burn our secrets up when they flap their wings toward the sun


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