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
April, National Poetry Month!
First, I’m driving to Ada, OK for the Scissortail Writing Festival April 6-8 at East Central University. I am the third reader on April 7th