Broken Retablo for Being on My Back, My Feet Bare & in the Air
Caliche. Great bird, woodsmoke, needle. Snake, owl. Nopal vibration. Almost every day of my life I have wanted to be filled. By something: a great bird, woodsmoke, wild laughters, an untethered tongue. When I’m on my back, any yell can be a needle, any breath works as thread. On asphalt or caliche, in dirt, my feet bare their crooked hymns: hoping to be entered. I don’t own words for every sound I feel. I don’t own words for breath I stuff back into my body after loving & not being loved. but Who isn’t in love with at least one seam, a sound: one vibration of this world? Ask any bolus of owls, ask víboras. Ask the nopales of certainty & joy. But who owns any certainty, really? Any word? & who still speaks the languages of víboras & caliche, & who will reteach my body that language of great birds & nopal?
Copyright © 2018 by Joe Jiménez. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 4, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.