Colorado State University Center for Literary Publishing

Excerpt from One Sun Storm

Bloodstone

We were given
a bloodstone
the shade of our error

The wind
had caressed it
in the back

of the valley
some thousand years
beside

the black stream,
and the dreaming
of the eye-

storms
had shaped it,
slightly

squared
as a tablet
no one swallows.

We were given
a bloodstone encased
in a web-work

of black-gray
lines thinner
than hairs

one calligraphic
gesture
here, and

there,
a tiny oblong X,
and another.

 

***************************************************

 

Satellite

I was not able to be there
in the breaking, at the florist, at the funeral, at your knee.

I was not able to be there at the crisis

at the Christmas, at the breakfast, at the plea.
You were somewhere, somewhere, somewhere,

I was Sunday morning, empty, free.
Look at the clouds.

We were not able to be there.

Satellites broadcast in our place, faces,
red placemats at the table, hospital gowns, wars.

It was a race to not be there fastest.

 

***************************************************

 

A crater: and in it

A crater: and in it, walking across it, a woman and a man.
	There are pieces of the woman 
		and pieces of the man throughout the crater,
they understand as yellow sulfur or as tears.

They brush shoulders as they walk, 
	now the backs of their hands.
The man is entranced with sulfur.
The woman lifts a piece of herself from an older eruption:

“How foreign are you?”
	and drops it, making less sound than you’d think.
The man is standing still in vents of swirling sulfur,
		mouth agape, pretending to drink, until the woman laughs

at his pretending, and they are inside
	remember inside the crater, not on the brink.

 

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