Most nights I dream I
am digging a hole
as wide and deep
as a coffin. The walls
of the tomb smell like food;
naan bread, crab cakes,
I lie down and take
a deep breath.
But the other night
an invisible shaman
spoke in my ear.
I dreamed he taught me
how to heal the hairline
people’s hearts, but
all I wanted to know
was how to heal my own.
I heard his tongue
cluck, cluck, like
a ruffled rooster
shaking out silken,
and told me that
more than half
of any wound is
healed by healing.
Seven a.m. post-sex godiva
chocolates and a blue sky wide
enough to curl into.
You croon black magic
woman into my ear, tell me
I’m Jessie’s girl, ask me
what I dreamed last night.
Darling, I am in my cowboy
boots and so afraid of gaining
weight, I am an inch away from
your pretty love and trying not to
cram it into my mouth. What
is delicate, what is fragile anymore?
From this vantage point we
are a hundred pieces of the
sharpest glass scraped from one hundred
of the unluckiest, broken mirrors.
Our edges, they are pressed
together like this, like this and you
take my fingers between your teeth.
Turn it up. I’m your radio girl
and last night my dreams were of you,
they were strewn like bread crumbs on
the forest’s path, guiding me
back towards the morning.
To the red one I know so well.
To the one whose petals have,
until now, only unfurled in my
dreams, in a space I could not
touch for fear of being taken;
You live in a city full with flowers
and fountains, a place where snakes
teach laughing women what it means
to dance. Yours is a hunger
that has forgotten shame. Yours
is a mirror that cannot reflect.
My body is a flame licked into bold fire.
My dress is stitched together from the
frayed petals of blushing dogwood roses.
When I spin, the world spins with me.
Alhambra, my red one, together we sing,
sing, sing, and watch my spine uncoil.
Bear cub sleeps within my heart.
He growls and yips in dreams
heavy with the scent of spring
approaching — thickening mud,
warning caw of the red-winged
blackbird. When night falls
I crawl into his cave and feed
him golden combs dripped in honey,
red tubers dusted with earth. His
coat shines, his claws lengthen.
Where is the medicine? I have searched for it
on paths leading far from the homestead;
past skeletal groves of stark birch trees guarding
the iron gates of a world beyond my grasp; ashen
fields pale with drought, thirsty buds pursed upwards
for any lick of rainwater. I tunneled into the ground
and wandered through ancient cities, pored over books and
yellow bottles. I have traveled through steady breaks in time.
Where is the medicine? Where is the medicine?
Bear cub wakes from restless
sleep and toddles into my arms.
He yawns widely, incisors bright,
pink tongue curled up, up towards
the narrow roof of his mouth.
There are no pills, no powders;
no six red seeds to swallow
and keep spring’s fever at bay.
There is only a longing, nascent still,
that quivers and stretches with each
passing moonrise. It is a voice, hushed,
that dares to whisper when all are fast
asleep. Your rivulet, bear sings softly,
barely above a sigh. Your rivulet is here.