after Marina Wilson Consider the hands that write this letter. The left palm pressed flat against the paper, as it has done before, over my heart, in peace or reverence to the sea or some beautiful thing I saw once, felt once: snow falling like rice flung from the giants' wedding, or the strangest birds. & consider, then, the right hand, & how it is a fist, within which a sharpened utensil, similar to the way I've held a spade, match to the wick, the horse's reins, loping, the very fists I've seen from the roads to Limay & Estelí. For years, I have come to sit this way: one hand open, one hand closed, like a farmer who puts down seeds & gathers up the food that comes from that farming. Or, yes, it is like the way I've danced with my left hand opened around a shoulder & my right hand closed inside of another hand. & how I pray, I pray for this to be my way: sweet work alluded to in the body's position to its paper: left hand, right hand like an open eye, an eye closed: one hand flat against the trapdoor, the other hand knocking, knocking.
When the boys are carnivals
we gather round them in the dark room
& they make their noise while drums
ricochet against their bodies & thin air
below the white ceiling hung up like a moon
& it is California, the desert. I am driving in a car,
clapping my hands for the beautiful windmills,
one of whom is my brother, spinning,
on a hillside in the garage
with other boys he'll grow old with, throw back.
How they throw back their bodies
on the cardboard floor, then spring-to, flying
like the heads of hammers hitting strings
inside of a piano.
This is how they fall & get back up. One
who was thrown out by his father. One
who carries death with him like a balloon
tied to his wrist. One whose heart will break.
One whose grandmother will forget his name.
One whose eye will close. One who stood
beside his mother's body in a green hospital. One.
Kick up against the air to touch the earth.
See him fall, then get back up.
Then get back up.