Rocío Carlos
2 poems
(the other house)
1. / that sleep hammer/ how you hold it / and I let you how I let you/so that we have matching wounds / I put my body between my mother and my sister’s body /she never missed I didn’t let her miss. Once, younger, stupid, I ducked or ran from her and I was sorry / what names float the ghost name / the girl who won’t come when called / except that I have no name to call her / I use smoke as signals the way my mother does with me / (can a house be built can a house be moved what is there ) / there is / there is / (disappearing people) / 2. / breaking as waves as glass slippers/what makers demand / what salt is: protection against the works of others / or misfortune / what is language but tripwire/or a bridge / from far away sisters wave to us / the hand that holds your name like longing /when / I put my teeth together to say your first syllable my mouth waters with sorrow / 3. / (which flood) / (joy) / stubborn door, this skin / and burial in this body sounds of laughter and breaking and instruments the body as instrument the line of a childhood a turning away or running away /wilderness/ starting from a home to a world/ a life the ocean for the rst time / (the first time the tide lapped at my ankles I wept with shame/I apologize mother this is my body/my father held my hand and laughed at the water). / and burial and burial and burial a song again a lingering and forming how like a life how the body becomes and then disappears / mother who gives permission to cry who makes the rain and drought / mountains crumble so that forests can rise under the feet of wolves / (something about peaches and moons/a potted mint and portraiture) / and what things quake, a limb, a lip, the continent with my desire for your trembling and my body as this wilderness what trembling and then stillness / old as wolves I want to hold your face my / (sparrow the kind of bird who keeps secrets) / 4. / fever when it comes is a house on fire is the unrelenting rain far from the body that suffers cold I saw you or the mirage of you or was it your shadow or did I dream you/ I had a little aunt who was only ash and she never answers when I call (arrow catcher, here come ashes) / 5. / Here is a broken body/ there is a bruised wilderness/ the body in a wilderness making new an autumn a time of sleep and graying / I picked glass from the soil to protect my family / I nursed a sore paw / the calico follows me wherever I go/ / she is not afraid of wolves / 6. / But there are fires to forget but we can’t forget even when we don’t remember (I remember her/ my color, my scowl the lost twin soul) they say the old dragon drank to forget her. I think it was to remember. A tired and sad dragon, he was cruel except to me. His laughter made the doves trill away from the palms. He lifted me onto the red filly. He told me she was mine and I named her Golondrina, after the birds that never stay. / you carry the place/ the death/ where is a place not crooked not covered in dust left by a terrible night left by those wonderful nights and the night of loss too and the nights of laughter / burn/break/live / or not / some cell in your body deciding what to do what comes next and the atoms of the universe arrange themselves in such a way / to let you pass. / what the ocean is /what names map/ what use is the body / that can be broken/ or taken/that just fades away. / 7. / (Paterfamilias) / a shadow / a bone            its marrow / a hand/ a body / under another’s hand and care / a tiny death (mine) / I wait for a sun / I want to be / your first place / that place of / snow marked / by your breath / the Mystery Of / all of the leaving naming and the longing / and I want it to be my name my song / and I am not okay and can’t say the words / so I sulk from across the plains and trees / in March there is death and longing and the / month of March does not belong to me / 8. / the places where you are from are always / on fire this city or that country or this body / (what if I told you this city of yours is my body I have mapped it in bridges and train tracks) / el nombre de la estación verano / el nombre de quien / de cual canción / and what are anchors? cement? names? gods? / ghosts: yellow the color of everything but the sun even as it dies in a place so far from where you were / born/ here in the north your body holds blame / the body /of me / which you conjured / and brought forth in some sleep (it has been such a long night)