What I won’t tell you is how I became a flute
and brushed against lips but there was no music.
When the blows came furious as juniper.
There were days when I was a parachute
and the wind was free but kind. I won’t lie
and say there were no such days. There were days
when I curled into hailstone and pretended
it was only breezing outside. Another man’s music.
Eventually the need to unfurl overcame the need
to stay anchored. Tsunami greeted me in its maw.
I have his smell all about me but it dwindles every day.
What I won’t tell you is how I escaped. One day
I met a map at a bar. It pointed to a gash on its head
and said I could get there by becoming someone else.
Most of me was still scrawled on a carpet under a belt.
What was there to lose that I hadn’t already lost?
Alone, in the middle of the night, the road smelled
like freshly sawed mesquite. I wormed my way out.
A buckle still loomed in the background.
And I told myself, there is no gleam.
Catechism for the Missing
“Snow where the horse impresses itself / is solitude, a gallop of grief.” —Miguel Hernández
What use is a language
that lacks a name for hazard?
When wheat brays in an alley.
Where do you go
if you aren’t born
If you start the book
you will never finish,
knowing how many
teeth go missing
A trapped animal
will tell you
how each chrysalis
a liberating force.
When water hisses in a barrel.
How many excuses
for the absence
of footprints about the body?
Even the desert
has a language
capable of uncovering
the ontology of the castaway.
Around the ocotillo,
around the narthex and dumpster,
each mouth exhales