what my body knows
is not a lie it’s not
a lie i tell you it is not
it’s nothing short of truth
and nothing larger
my past lodges
in my marrow and if
i wanted a transplant
there’d be no match
others’ sorrows dwarf
my petty traumas still
these bones are mine
when they creak
when they moan
when they whine
there’s only one thing
i can claim these bones
are mine i tell you
they are mine and kind
to abandon no thing
that makes this pulse
no one but me
Father’s Memory of a Mexican Mining Camp
Softly, it always began softly.
Then slowly swelled to a wail.
Men’s voices. Maybe seven of them
up on the hill behind the house.
A breeze through the window
stirred the curtains like clouds.
I was five, or six. Around midnight
it would start—such a doleful sound.
They were drinking. It was Saturday
and the mines were closed. Their song
would wake me—their longing.
It was a language I knew,
though I couldn’t make out the words.
But the music—that was theirs.
Some ancient secret. A string of notes
piecing together who they once were.
My twin brother slept soundly.
I was alone with this mystery.
It haunts me even now, this lament
to their gods. If flowers were songs—
if the marigold sang, it would mourn
like this. I imagine them still
sitting on a dark hill chanting
their dirge. Some nights I wake—
I hear them. I don’t remember
my dreams, so I dutifully make
my way to the window.
All I see are clouds and mist.