I could put these time bombs In a God-jar, let some higher angel Keep them. Cigarettes. Music. Weeds. Grace. The men I love, born with the mercy card up their sleeve. Impossible to make a voodoo doll of. I look at the dark, soft hair reaching below the ears, their Jesus complex, how it's necessary for them to have at least 7 followers. Each one an only son I cannot confess to, cannot say how I wake from a calm sleep to find my body stuffed with down, hops and grapevines, nettle a choker around my throat. A wild apple [...]
As wistful as any portrait from El Libro de Santos was the dream of a spear branding me a sinner. Little by little I see clear to giving myself away. This rib for Moses, this rib for Michael. This rib for James, and this for John, the deserter and Jesus the enforcer. Their bellies are full of me. You need to know lust has a smell, pain has a scent, death is a flowerbed. You need to know somebody loves you. Let me show you these stars, Christmas red, holy silver and gold, royal blue and jamboree green. Let me [...]
The bone fetish close in your shirt pocket, the worry beads, the medicine stone. Your Souvenirs of Love. Where I write there is an iridescent morpho butterfly from Brazil, three times the size of a monarch, pinned in a black frame so that its colors are the only movement it can make. Souvenirs of Love. The morphine inside us, the poppy springing from our mouths. How drowning is necessary to a dry seed. Years ago in Los Angeles I was waiting for Salvatore to arrive and take me to Venice, the half-mythical shore full of ghosts and children and sailors [...]
A bird wing on the sidewalk, flight cut down, torn from its body. Now, only a symbol of falling. Is this where we land, on cold cement, a touch of blood with all the passersby looking down and avoiding us. Thinking of wings and how good it is to be human sometimes?
A trail of Latino men and women walking on a December night, open bibles in their hands, they follow a black pick-up truck, its bed filled with red and white roses, carnations. In the center a weathered cardboard portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They are singing hymns to the Virgin of the Apocalypse. It's Christmas and the hope for warmth and faith issues ghosts from their mouths.
You question if you're in the right place- next to me. I tell you you're like a ghost, half in and half out of my world, like that UFO incident where men were fused to the side of a boat- half their bodies buried in some unknown space of the structure. I remember an interview with a witness- he said there was nothing he could do, so he brought one of the guys a pack of cigarettes while he was suspended in the middle of who knew what. Would he ever see his other half again? He was in the [...]
I remember at this time in my life there was a drug dealer living next door. At all hours there would be someone knocking on the back door, or the window, sometimes for up to an hour. I thought, as I lay awake, that I was like these addicts, unable to help myself, knocking again and again without an answer. I wanted to go back into that house on fire and rescue what had made me feel alive. I did not see the cruelty that he'd shown me, I remembered only the way he was tender, deeply sweet and [...]
You will wake early in the morning after a night of drinking, because your body won't let you sleep late, breathe the breath of too many cigarettes and regret. Like always, after a night of indulgence, you will hold a quiet hatred for yourself. The day will be melancholy. You will hide, veer away from deep conversation, be unsure of everything about your life and the people in it. You know, what is it about that girl who's in love with you? Why can't you let her in? And why didn't you follow through on those dreams you believed in [...]
Grand Canyon. The autumn hues of its structure, trails leading deeper down an abyss, and travelers trusting that for them it would not be like that fall into hell they were told of in Sunday school. They would descend but rise again, Live to tell others about the beauty they discovered. Everybody wants to discover beauty. Everybody wants to be in love. Out of the canyon, the house of walls and sky, you could ascend on the back of a burro, slow and steady. Out of love one might never rise. Out of love one suddenly hears the pigeons on [...]
Now appears slow winter without a fire anywhere in the heart. The wine tastes of an Autumn gone, or early snow. The vine growers rest by the hearth, done with harvesting "earth's blood." This wine, made from the wings of butterflies and the petals of dandelions. This is for your waiting. Love has brought you to these rooms where you sit and smoke cigarette after cigarette. The hounds wait for you to release them, and the fireplace embers grow cold and grey. Snow falls through the chimney, landing in soft ash. Out into the winter night [...]