When I get the call about my brother, I'm on a stopped train leaving town & the news packs into me—freight— though it's him on the other end now, saying finefine— Forfeit my eyes, I want to turn away from the hair on the floor of his house & how it got there Monday, but my one heart falls like a sad, fat persimmon dropped by the hand of the Turczyn's old tree. I want to sleep. I do not want to sleep. See, one day, not today, not now, we will be gone from this earth where we know the gladiolas. My brother, this noise, some love [you] I loved with all my brain, & breath, will be gone; I've been told, today, to consider this as I ride the long tracks out & dream so good I see a plant in the window of the house my brother shares with his love, their shoes. & there he is, asleep in bed with this same woman whose long skin covers all of her bones, in a city called Oakland, & their dreams hang above them a little like a chandelier, & their teeth flash in the night, oh, body. Oh, body, be held now by whom you love. Whole years will be spent, underneath these impossible stars, when dirt's the only animal who will sleep with you & touch you with its mouth.
Consider the Hands that Write This Letter
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.