You live under a sky with no horizon.
The mountains flap behind your home
like a great dark bird. His claws are sharpened
with silver coils that squeeze you, cutting
you to shreds.
While I wait for the gate to open, memories of you
open: thick chested man hugging me into
your sweat while my eyes trace the
brown scar splitting your ribs right
to your heart.
A whir of noise breaks
the air. A man is walking on the edge of
the road with a propane tank, the nozzle
shooting flame shrivels weeds to ash.
The borders of your country are ashes.
Maybe I don’t know how to tell this story,
of you flinging your youngest son into the air
while the other two stood by, all of you
laughing, before your lips formed
a tiny 'o' around the bottle's mouth
and killed you. You kissed your own death.
They lock the gates behind me. Inside
the winterlight is stiff on the men in blue
and gray uniforms.
Late-day shadows wrap around them
before they seal the light.
We sit on beige-colored plastic chairs, you
there and me over here, no crossing the red line.
Our whispers climb up the walls like spiders,
filament the air between us
with the silk of truths
I'm sorry, you say, and tell a story inside
of this one.
A black doll crawled out of my belly.
The ha-ha, the medicine man told me to
spit on it, and when I did, I blew over
backwards, like a strong wind knocking me
down. We took that doll and spit on it, threw
it into the fire. And then I came here.
Your sorrow leaks from a map of scars.
Buckles of gold on cottonwood trees and
the black bird mountain turns jasper as the sun
breaks, late afternoon sun through the windows, and
you tell me how you are learning to forgive
all the beauty that surrounds
the emptied pieces of you.