Freeway

The world froze over this morning
On the 10 and the 5 and the 210
between 6 and 10am,
and I remembered Albuquerque
and how we were there yesterday morning

and saw the open wound of the world
and how it bled and bled
even before we got back to Flagstaff
and the world was still frozen
this morning, motionless

and how we would have never left Arizona
if it was like this – we would have pounded the bars
and pounded the drinks
to avoid the frozen-over world
baking in the mid-morning desert sun.

Pukana

I drive down the onramp to merge into L.A. traffic

 

A greying haired middle aged man does not want to let me in.

Forced onto the curb of the the freeway I turn and look at him.

He is staring at me

And a blanche, passionless, gaunt middle finger waves in my direction

 

I look back for another couple of minutes and smile as I drive on the edge of the freeway still.

 

An excitement runs through me

A fierce rushing of blood.

I am the Polynesian heroes of my youth.

I am the Anglo-Saxon legends of my ancestors.

I am an African-Brazilian of utter defiance and survival.

I feel their spirits deep, comfortable

I am from the pure earth of the south pacific

I am from the hardened rock of northern Europe.

I have water in me from the raging Amazon.

I am crafted from powerful dust

And none shall defy me.

 

I roll down my window

And lock eyes with the man slowly becoming a boy.

 

I am ready for war

I have been melded in battle

I bring blood and fire

 

I show him my Pukana

 

My ancestors envelop him

 

He sharply turns and looks at his steering wheel

Slowly brakes

And never looks back up

 

I am all that I have been.

Daddy

 

Mommy wakes me up for school by singing “Good Morning to You”

                       

                                    She wakes me up to work by pulling my blanket off

 

I like Eggos on Fridays with syrup and milk

           

                                    I don’t get breakfast because I didn’t whisper the words he asked me to

 

We pray in the car for my spelling test

 

                                    I pray that it doesn’t hurt today

 

I tell myself it’s going to be a good day

 

                                    I tell myself that it’s going to be a bad day

 

Miss Tamra tells me to sit with my table group

                                   

                                    He wants more than me

 

We read in a circle and color our worksheets

 

                                    We put on little dresses that make me feel dirty

 

Mommy drives me home and I play with my dolls

                       

                                    We whisper to each other in the room until he enters

                                   

I hear the front door open and I run down the stairs

                                   

                                    His boots smack angrily on the tile floor

 

I call out for daddy

 

                                    He makes us call him daddy

 

Weaving

The woman writing in the window is no longer there

She doesn’t walk through the farmer’s market on Saturday

To buy her tulip seeds

Nor does her long skirt get blown up from the

Subway steam

 

No, she doesn’t sing in the garden

With dirt making residence under her nails

She doesn’t sit with her left leg tucked under her right

Birthing poems to elevate her burdened words

 

She doesn’t wrap her fingers around your neck

And press her forehead to yours

To look into the shadows of your eyes to tell you

“It’s gonna be alright.”

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