I have followed a crooked line back
to her particular grace. The edges
of me untidy, tongue coarse as a burlap
sack. Hard. Learned prayers luscious
like rust, a pickup backseat fuck,
a husk of a tractor grill thick with smashed grasshoppers.
The more taboo things I do with my body
the less monstrous my body becomes soft
as the summer wheat scored through
by a highway back to where I was born.
We don’t get the saints we need: we dream
them into being the way the cleft of a valley
welcomes the river. So a girl
dreams a femme who would get down
on her knees for her, whose heart
was the naked prairie and then the fire again,
who could muster concern for women’s pain
and other earthly things.
For me, she peels back the screen door
to savour a moth, resting; to hear
how the wind hushes in the fields.
How the air sizzles and cracks
like an acetate song as the sky gathers itself
and crickets croon in the old mother’s tongue.
She turns words of her first language in my open mouth
And falls like lightning into the cup of this night.