Sangre de Christo

On a hand woven blanket I bought
that you picked out at Acoma
we rested in the solstice sun naked
off the road, behind the praying hands
the rock between Taos and Santa Fe
under the loom of white jagged teeth
the peaks of the Sangre de Christo
You said I had promised to rub your back
so I saddled over your deep brown buns
the caressing sun kissed the bronze skin
from shoulders to your ample bearing hips
where many thin white lines from whip slices lie
like fissure in a rock and molten lava filling in
I traced the curved lines your father gave you
on that night he found you
naked in the arms of your first lover
in the doorway your father screamed at you
"Not my baby! Not a Zhin-Ni!"
Like chalk, I try to erase the white arcing scars
pushing the skin till it turns red while my tears fall
through the sun-burnt desert I see warriors dead
flies buzz their blood-caked faces
trickles of blood trace women’s thighs as they chant and rock
soldiers rifle-bash the last few members of the tribe to march
     from their homes
buzzard-days of no food or water the elders sink into the chawed ground
Your father moved to Boston to escape the memory of genocide
alcohol suffering, corrugated education and rust bucket wheels
he whipped you for taking a black lover
late that night you stuffed your daypack full of clothes
putting it over tender shoulders your back stinging
wincing you popped the window open to the freezing wind
without gloves you climbed down the drain pipe three floors
blood soaking through your T-shirt while you walked to a 7-11
under the brightly lit overhang a couple of winos huddled together shivering in tattered rags
one hand held the receiver, the other dropped coins in the stone cold phone
There is not enough love in my fingers or my tears
to smooth the scars I caress from your brown skin
the wind breathes a chill air across my shoulders that I choke on
turning your head, the long dark trestles unveil your face
to catch the light of the jagged snow-capped peaks
reflecting in your soft brown eyes
you drink in the light of the Sangre de Christo
and a smile comes to your lips
arms mesh chest to chest our bodies together tightly rock
on the blanket your voice a warm lilt whispers into my ear
as the praying hands rock the sun

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