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

Copyright © 2011 by Farid Matuk. Used with permission of the author.