All I want is a single hand,
A wounded hand if that is possible.
--Federico Garcia Lorca
Beautiful man, with your brows of broken ashes
and eyes that migrate in winter,
a hollow in your hand
where the moon fell through.
I could have kissed your mouth,
passed an olive with my tongue,
the aftertaste of canaries on our breath.
But the shriek of the little hour
is spent, and there is no road back.
The day it happened
there were no good boys
or dovecots filled with virgins,
just a sun imploding
like a sack of rotten oranges,
the scent of basil
from the grove near your home
and the piano that still waits for you.
No one will remember
the coward who shot you,
but the sheets,
the white sheets you sail on,
First Place Winner IBPC 2008
Under the Canopy
Everything flows through me
but nothing is lost, not a drop
of wine, nor any excuses.
Across the wooden table you speak
as if you know the meaning
of my name, pour yourself like sunstorm
on a thirsty riverbed. You ask me
to bear this, to remember the scent
of apples and the green heart
of the poplar growing in endless rows.
I try to lose myself in the gaucho's ballad,
let the guitar soften time in my bones
but you spill another river of wine
in my glass, shake your head and smile
at my refusal; the delight one feels
when a voice it knows is near. If I leave
for an moment, I am afraid you will disappear.
Today is a glass half drunk, an instant
of knowing how you pour, how you pour.
In Between Lives
She lets herself be known slowly,
illuminates rooftops in slants
of ochre, bathes the morning
beasts, even as the crow repeats
its darkness. Distinguishes her shadow
by the quality of light. The way yellow
and blue tiles are polished with early hours.
She angles the shade to soften
the courtyard, the hush of fountain
in a silvered museum. A pigeon pauses
on its bottom tier, falls asleep in a pool
of her warmth. She drifts on to the next
village, lingers over fruit stands
and laundry lines. Mountains return
from where they wandered in the night.
She sees her new mother; black hair
tossed back in a blue ribbon, belly
swollen beneath a linen shift. This will
be her tiny body. She can already smell
the scent of ocean in mother's womb.