My Daughter All Yourn

will she be closer to the falling away of the gaze of things than others?
hands on the water she calls scene setting
hands on the table water over the houses and hills swimming
not the ocean or the sea but the frame of time she'll tell of
wild happy yeses in her hands
she bites through in rage when rage
comes to her or we do and she's too small a flag
what does our house say? these borrowed things solid and whole
fabric lost to her a greasy boy speaks fast at the pizza stand
more available to be seen the young in their concerns
amidst the old artifice paint a boat and it will mean a dream
put names of your dear ones in it all yourn standing up
these little soft hands she bites through the bright white light of summer
shines off sand and vinyl siding itself composed against the salt

More by Farid Matuk

My Daughter Among the Names

Difficult once I've said things 

to know them this morning

the lights above the tollway all off 

at exactly 7:36

all "we took our yellow from the pewter sky."


But we have so many 

things!   Stories

about our diction, the leather couch

some trees and our ages.

What about all the rooms the sky makes—


she tried several 

spaces today, under a desk, a nook

bent to her.

I thought of picking a fight

with dead Bachelard.

Her small body a new host for

waters, spaces brought round

for viruses, their articulations, their ranges.  


Think of all the products 

left behind by a shift in design—

iPod cases, dancers called spirit rappers

sites where "women, negroes, natives were acted out" 

for Rev. Hiram Mattison "vehicles of impurity."


"My children too have learned

a barbarous tongue, though it's not so sure

they will rise to high command"— Tu Fu or

Bernadette Mayer on Hawthorne's American Notebooks

a boy tried to hang a dog in a playground, she said.


O structural inequalities!  O explanations!

The owner of the desert house we rented

plants butterfly bushes, cenizo, and columns 

of dark leaves where birds go. 

Sharp sweet dung smell off the horse trailer 


after it pulls away.  

What about all the rooms the sky makes?  

Faint blue expanse

a long far line of electric poles

a mountain I can see.  Dog yelps almost digital


maybe from inside a car at the Dollar General.  

She made her first marks today

on this page      

rain    hand      here

from "For a Daughter/No Address"

like the shapes we made in the things we said were demanding of us
now you ask me why the sky is a tank full of lemonade out back 
all wet tonight and bugs call up a swamp in this desert in my story 
my dad wrote all the wrong names for her on a brick that could lift 
through my mother’s window came the words arrayed in glass 
dusting San Martincito on her dresser cast in plastic with spaces in his robes
a home for the hen the dog made mild in the skirts of the mongrel saint
still lining a thin easy silence around me come the scenes all down our street 
in someone’s car music each word lifted into its own space thumps in the moon’s
heavy sleep breath there are extensions we can read what we said 
it’s such a simple printshop so mothers might tell us about what came 
to be more known     a pear tree in the commons and really 
the words left idle beside     if they could tell us about the forms
if these came to lift them if we could ask sin miedo y sin piedad
 

When I Look at Pictures

             or better
when the training dedicated
            to what lines my eyes cast
braids me to that skein
            then I know I’m a thing
that can take itself away

            maybe etched with the man
on a horse leaping
            into the lithographed
German windmill’s open bay

            refined, involutely resolved
to curving inward
            while touching the outside,
screaming isn’t looking

            like when my mother died
of being a woman,
            poor and eventually
American, the nerve I had
            to fold time
in my mouth as if to call
            back an escape line
from a life

            and who would think
to hide in a windmill
            and the horse
amenable?

            I really was
looking at that print
            thinking without rancor
of what fraction of hateable men
            I’ve known
and been
            who work so hard
at fleeing into private chambers
            only to find
some uninvited thought of me

            eyes closed, whispering
exactly there, spectral
            and unwanted as I am,
It’s just easier for me
            if you’re not around