Monday, November 1, 2010

Barbara Jane Reyes


there is ghazal swimming inside of her, wanting to be born. on
the matter of foretelling, of small miracles, cactus flowers in bloom
on this city fire escape, where inside your tongue touches every
inch of her skin, where you lay your hand on her belly and sleep.
here, she fingers the ornate remains of ancient mosques. here,
some mythic angel will rise from the dust of ancestors’ bones.
this is where you shall worship, at the intersections of distilled
deities and memory’s sharp edges. the country is quite a poetic
place; water and rock contain verse and metaphor, even wild grasses
reply in rhyme. you are not broken. she knows this having captured
a moment of lucidity; summer lightning bugs, sun’s rays in a jelly
jar. this is not a love poem, but a cove to escape the flux, however
momentary. she is still a child, confabulating the fantastic; please
do not erode her wonder for the liquid that is your language. there is
thunderstorm in her chest, wanting to burst through her skin. this is
neither love poem nor plea. this is not river, nor stone.

Going Outside To Find The Sky

It is much higher at high noon, and I have to stand on my tiptoes to
touch it with the tips of my straining fingers. In Chinatown, firecrackers
jumping in sunlight like glinting pistols tell me it is time for old ghosts
to rest. The boy version of me once said he would ride a carabao cross
country because only I know where to place the “h” in him. I am still
waiting for his poem to tell me he is on his way, closer to the Pacific’s
salty embracing roar. I will allow myself a moment of susceptivity and
remember a time when I collected pretty rocks and felt them clicking
against one another in my pockets as I skipped barefoot into the ocean’s
froth like soda fountain root beer floats. Today I sit with knees together,
swinging my legs to and fro. Today I’ll hum a little song, and maybe I’ll be
out of tune.

State of Emergency

To honor movement in crescendos of text, combing through ashes for
fragments of human bone, studying maps drawn for the absurdity of
navigation — what may be so edgy about this state of emergency is my
lack of apology for what I am bound to do. For instance, if I dream the
wetness of your mouth an oyster my tongue searches for the taste of
ocean, if I crave the secret corners of your city on another continent, in
another time, in series of circular coils extending outward, then it is only
because I continue to harbor the swirls of galaxies in the musculature
and viscera of my body. You will appear because I have mouthed your
name in half-wish, reluctant to bring myself to you. You will appear for
me, because you always do, with earthen skin outside the possibility of
human causation.


what is your flow to where inside your body do you recoil during full
moons who will remind you to restore the shards of you to wholeness
when everyone has been driven away and if these shards of you could
speak would they tell you they would rather not be restored in what
fractured language do you dream when you sleep alone i have been
tenderly cautioned memory is retained in my hair now flowing in heavy
black cascades below my diminishing waistline i have been warned i
must take care to worship and guard memory fiercely for even the most
comfortless of these have given me flight

-all poems previously published in From The Fishouse

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