Morning, and light seams through Juárez, its homes like pearls, El Paso rippling in the dark. Today I understand the fact of my separate body, how it tides to its own center, my skin crumbling from thirst and touch. The sun hangs like a bulb in corridor: one city opening to another. When did my heart become a boat, this desert the moving chart of my palm? And when did pain invert the sky to glaucous sea, each home on each hill rocking? I would give my lips to a soldier if only he would take them as sextant, our mouths an arc, my tongue the telescoping sight between. Below such light, the measure of boys swimming cobbles, their stomachs dripping wild stamen. See how they are clutching to their guns like lovers, as if the metal could bear them. Morning, and still in umbra, my dog and I walk, her tongue a swinging rudder.
Mudslide in Rio de Janeiro state...: in the early hours of Saturday, following two days of heavy downpour. A boulder slid down a slope and hit a group of houses in the city of Niterói. Volunteers joined rescuers in silence so that any survivors could be heard.
—BBC News, November 11, 2018
It's as if the marrow of the earth mistook us
for part of itself, our limbs its own settling
form, like we have sunk into chairs and taken as us
our tight-tucked legs, our bellies. Or known the settling
head of our daughter to sternum as an uncleaved us,
one sleeping self inside a woken self. The settling
mud around, its heave, seems simple now: is softening us
into dense dark shape, and we are settling
our gauges too: voice from volume, sediment, shadow, us
from the spaces we lived. Silence settling
who we thought we were, was us,
into this all-consuming lack. Nothing settling
a choke around the circumference of light, drawing us
in. We no longer know if our eyes are open, only settling:
(where our daughter sank her pillow—her hair—and us
somewhere too), though we're yielding there to this, settling
aphotic loss, how we once lived what we could bear: us,
her, no more. Now there is weight so true, a settling
so whole, we could die in its lightness: it exiles us
to formless terror—no blanket, no bed, but settling.
If we could remember that once a throat was us
inside a body. Only: here, or here, inside this settling,
a hint of shade, almost like memory: the sound of us.
If we could just know again our mouths. We
could part the earth with our voices, ask to be heard.