Self-Portrait Disguised as Stones
After Gila River, a site of Japanese American incarceration
Were I there under eave and uncrushed set in some dust corner after desert snow -- Were I a riparian spec alkaline and present aventurine redressed mountain chip, moss-rose -- What could I speak? I might have soaked secret after secret seen the spark birthing seed birthing daughter and sons their unwired love -- I might have drank joy from the blameless seen meeting of the gambler and survivor of addicts two laboring landless -- For years I was restless amethyst disguised as ash rock freckled, forgotten noctilucent daikon I was afraid of my face
Do you walk through constructed silence arousing memory? Do you follow the long-limbed beetle around the ancestral mountain arresting memory? Of Capricorn and Gemini of nebula and violin: one daughter of queens wandering creosote. Of Milky Way and wonder throne of swallow tail and milkweed: hearty grass and omen ants gather. Birds trill electronic. A cloudless sulphur catches light. Let me down slowly.
I was there. I was restless-- my mind, a body my body sweeping life's cells in a single direction over Earth's face-- sea freedom for centuries a chemical fist unfolding in the fescue. Desire did this: fertile dust and diatom seas forest lung and red rock-- a roiling grace. You die. I collapse into the hollow before language: knot in your father's throat in Hiroshima everlasting rock monument writing on the crane's wing folded by the dead one under a future sky--
I'm single stone with dual souls: two, then three handfuls of rock-shard under dim immense heaven. One conflict illuminates the other: our hexagonal suffering in sky time our moonstone super enemies. I'm talking about the garden now: how it stared down the wolf-heart, won. Roots hold onto each other uncapsized under summer soil. Sheer history-- traveling underground eros. One cross holds the sea-dogs at bay the other archives light. Un-beast me. Pack of dogs take my palm. Open me to the secret memory.