© 2019 Tapestry, Annual TAMUK Women & Gender Studies Journal

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Debbi Brody

If I Had a Body

If I had a body

My feet would be clouds,

My heart a yellow swallowtail.

 

If I had a body

My hair wood be moonbeams,

My eyes would be glaciers.

 

If I had a body

My red licorice arms

Would pull you to me,

My silly putty legs

Would wrap around you.

At the Indian School

Memorable and strange occurrences

of students gone by, beaten

language burned off tongues,

hearts broken windows,

war rages in times of peace.

 

Cerrillos Road spread out

in Native souls’ howling

for mystery, like a walk

through Hiroshima,

beings float overhead,

moan like whale song.

 

Time never runs out, no limit

to pain, to undoing. Only

a hammer and irresponsibility.

We look for whatever wiggles

then bring in its opposite.

 

China Connection

Some things never change.

Ten clear skin, shining black hair women invited to dinner.

Guests of twenty balding, bad teeth dark suited unknown men.

Good for business says their failing restauranteur friend.

 

The men speak a home town idiom, half disappear,

other half divide the woman between them, expect

something in return for a seventy-nine dollar dinner.

 

Chen Ting owns a couture bridal store on Half Moon

Street. One of a kind Asian inspired wedding designs.

The shop is decorated like a gold eternal bliss moment.

Movie stars buy ten-thousand dollar gowns, two-

thousand dollar veils. To Chen Ting’s Chinese

born friends, she is an unwed commodity,

no place to call home. She measures, chalks, cuts,

stitches each piece, irons every segment three times.

 

Two machines in the back room where she sleeps.

Homeless woman, supporting her clan in China,

white taffeta on one machine,

on the other, ivory brocade.

 

Crone Dreams of Eden

 

When the green snake

Sticks its split head

Out from the tree,

It doesn’t offer an apple.

 

Apples didn’t grow

In the middle-east

2,000 years ago

(People weren’t white

There either as some tale

Tellers would have us believe.)

 

Instead, see a pomegranate

With a million sparkling seeds.

According to Jung,

Both snake and seeds

Are me. Snake – phallic-

Root-of-all-evil. A root

I refuse to see

Inside female me.

 

Instead, I’ll be a mythical

Indian princess’s red-juicy-

Fertility inside a pomegranate

Poking from the snake’s green tree.

In This Poem

This poem contains an ingenue

from the 40's silver screen,

a serial killer from a small

town in Ohio. This poem contains

an electrician and a depressive

and an adolescent girl madly in love

with Justin Beiber.

 

This poem is a problem solver who likes

the Sunday crossword and a grieving

parent who never leaves the house.

 

This poem has a disciplinarian wearing

a nun’s habit, a compromiser who

never gets what he wants and a vegetarian

who only eats things that don’t have eyes.

 

This poem contains a childhood abuse

survivor and a do-gooder building

houses with mud and spit in Nicaragua.

It holds in its ink a mystic, burning

incense at the foot of a mountain

and a super-hero action figure.

 

It contains angry young men swinging

drunken fists at their fathers and frightened

young women who stick fingers down

their throats after every meal until their

stomachs rupture.

 

This poem has a modern soldier

with the sense of an ancient warrior

and a warehouse supervisor with a dislocated disc in her spine.

Hidden in this poem are some stories from when the

earth was new and we all spoke the same language.

 

Translating the Ukraine:

Letters from a Young Cousin in Odessa

 

Daughter of a broken arm,

legs drove the wheels,

shot down at the speed

of a black jeep.

 

The evening moved to make things 

square. Details in bags and rustling bills.

 

Our nation is ready 

to give his last shirt.

 

Vladimir’s cathedral and walking

on subway cars with dull drawling.

 

A guy cleaned paws off my shoulder,

walked to the exit of transition, 

he graduated with grief in half,

three classes.

 

But all this being said, the flowers.