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
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.
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
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,
But all this being said, the flowers.