Worship the Moon

Neil  stands in purple boxers
soaked to the skin, as slick as
a bathtub, watching birds stick
their heads in and out of Styrofoam
coffee cups, on his front porch.
In the basement there are sacks
of banana peels, turning from yellow
to black.  Neil Armstrong resents the birds
and punishes the peels for their color.
 He painted the living room grey and
the bathroom purple and super glued
all of his large dinner plates to the roof. 
Cement hangs in bulky chunks from the
rubber of his shoes, he has resigned his
belongs to a museum on the moon. 
Enthralled by the washing machine,
and the swirl of purple underwear
he denounces the ocean into the
soap that foams with every twist, and
spins around cupping his hands against
 heated air. 

The myth of the moon has been replaced.
By the stoplight, Styrofoam, the neon, the
halogen, the hum of the refrigerator, and
gravity.  He is has become a mild
man in the glow that reflects off
concrete.   He crushes myth under
his thumb.


I now live separately,
but his rage did not affect
my demeanor, it did not
affect the light that draws
the lines of fingers on my
face, but used my own body
to chase me into a crow, picking  at
wrappers in the parking lot, and I took flight
and spread my black wing
casting the light away from
my own face, reflecting it
back to where it came from,
and I move higher up to that source
searching for a rage to return  me
to my body.


The Uncovered

Sixty miles of creosote, mesquite, and rock
separated us from the civilized.  Five miles down the road
near a barbwire fence, my dad stretched his hands
smoothed river rocks, we found a 1913 Ford,
its skeleton rusted the dark red of the land.

This is where we dug up the story
of the woman who washed by the
river. Her hair dipped into the water like
a salt cedar bending over to wash the tips of its leaves.
Sucking the river bed dry.

She lived in the roofless house, its
walls now nearly melted away.  One room housing
a broken bed frame.  We dug her from the dirt.
An old locket with a faded face.  I wore her around
my neck until, as children we decided she must have been

Breaking the decaying air he would tell us
the name of a dirt tank or a canyon creek.
Always named for someone who had died there,
for a long time breathed the air there.


The Creation of Jade

Ambiguous arms are open and bent stiffly at the elbow, hand ambivalent of one another are forced once again to forego freedom from one another to interpret thunder.  River water washes dirt from her dingy ankles, but leaves it in creases at her knees.  Longer days rise with the sun, and in the desert they stand with heads cocked back, mouths open, waiting for the rain.  Sunrays pose as rage smashing fist into the cracked mud of last month's rain.              

They come up from the ground dying, the curse of thirst, ridiculing her ridiculous knees, bending her to the ground, lacing her hands behind her back.  So she offers her skin as sacrifice to the ground.   Grinding, gripping, gapping, and frayed freedom lays broken and measured pound by pound. They button up her shirt to the collar and bend her over a broke-down worthless horse, and calling her and the horse by the same name they lead them through their desert to the place where she would be worked and worn. Wearily she engraved their name into green, green, green, gemstone.  Her hands are given freedom from one another and her name set in stone.  Self-made, senile, and savage she surrenders to her primitive placement.