Sunday, March 1, 2009

Amy Bracken Sparks


St. Barbara Waits for the Bus

Did you think I would return
with all my arms and legs?

Check Kiev or Dubrovnik. Ask the bomb
technicians, who honor my stump.

They want me in the charnel house
but wearing Chanel.

I am no martyr, but I was gorgeous
and defied my father.

I was charmed by the one-man
idea. He was not yet blonde or blue-eyed,
but I know, like me, he loved
the sound of rain in the highest branches.

So a dog hauled my leg there
and you vitrine it—
who's the pagan now?

I am sending an associate
to retrieve it. Look
for an angel in a dusty suit.

I am late for work.
The bus kneels.
I hate this reverence.


My Face Now Flower
--after "First Silueta" by Ana Mendieta

My mother whelped a sea
bed, a seed bed, a planted
body undulating with unseen
tides. It will be a billion
years of eels before the sea

recedes, leaving me
littered in green, pumping
salt-baked blood.
I am still, pores open,
seaweed sprouting

from this stone grave
built by Zapotec hands.
My own are slack, sendings
hoots skyward with heads
of tiny moons.

My face is now flower,
my flower now masked
for whatever journey I'm
on translating air
to water, to lady

Yemay√° who reaches
her watery arms
to embrace the pocked
face of the earth
into moonlight and out

while this body heaves
up with seed and stone.


No Lifeguard on Duty

Against the three-story
atrium she is tiny.
A helicopter shot.
Mother's alligator
suitcase at her knee.
Buzz of mowers.
Beyond the revolving
door a fountain she is
not to look at or put
anything into.
Dozens of small
cameras ring the plaza.
She sees how one
could bebut she's not
paranoid.
She is to float,
to merge, not
submerge.
A relative will
come. Dinner
will be polite.
Although she's
ready with it,
rehearsed it,
tattooed it
on the inside
of her elbow
no one will ask
for her story.
Beneath her dress
a life jacket.


Sea-Bird Change

Sparrows find what I have
overlooked in the green
patience of the housefly.
They are in over their head
gear twitching
in the roulette like a formal
gathering of moods.

The butter weed teases
the Monarch, their two orbs
meeting and needing each other.
One will radar its way to the high
desertion of Mexico
while the other will curl
itself into the ground
glass, a Persephone
waiting a hard wipeout,
her brute husband a gleeful
bandit of birds.

-all poems previously published at Wicked Alice

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