Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ivy Alvarez


all the boulders are arrested

from their rolling. the snow,
the angle of the mountain
forbids it. spindle-hag scrub
scratch out an odd cuneiform
on the sky. clouds weep
for no reason as a little melt
funnels down, ice water
trickling fresher than needles
in our throats. the taste earns
us a summer of forgetting
the sense of snow


the sour-sick smell of another's

breath accumulates
in the yaw of a 747
travelling miles unmeasured
by feet heights unflown
by human arms the lights blinker
on the fans blow the warnings
signal blank-faced
attendants at this endless
party while dawn
fingers the elbow resting
on the window
cloud milk condenses
over the country my mother
now sees after gaining wrinkles
grey hair a new air
doors open to tropical
fruits sly pickpocketing
hands the constant press
of smog in her throat
welcoming her like she's
never been away


when they met again

the daughter was ten

after the airport kisses had dried

she told her mother

you're almost not my mother

you're like a stranger

oddness grew like a midday moon

pressure built in their ears

her mother found her jellybeans

stopped her mouth with sugar


is the only living thing

breathes life into dust motes
a little god

hooks & nails

draw attention

walls cry out for pictures

sun-fingered curtains
torn wings

a gape of absence

see the dents on the floor

feet once danced here

and tables held books

and chairs held people


After she's packed, Dee gives me two cacti,

books, coffee, a framed degree, her fourth.

Coaxes this last gift, green blades gleaming,

dormant orchids in black pots, all leaf.

Eggshells a cracked mosaic. The whites shine.

'Flowers in spring. They like shade'‚ Dee said,

gives me manure, blind to my panic.

Hands make their faltering awkward grab.

'I won't kill these' my hollow mantra.

*all poems previously published in The Write Stuff

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