|photo by Mikael Molner|
The wind is a river that borrows its name
from everything it touches --
rock faces chiseled
by the elements,
human developments ---
In the mirror, I draw the razor across my throat & most days, try
only to look at the flesh left clean in its passing,
& not notice the weathering
Because I can take it.
That's what they taught us.
When they come to take your name, be Strong.
Don't let them see that it matters.
As if our defiance, made us impervious & it's not so much
busted flesh // you can only see bruises so long before they burrow
//tears are weakness,
Even rivers must respect their banks
& the pull to find the lowest point. Fall from cliffs, & they'll come
from miles around to take pictures with you,
Roil & pool,
Reflect & evaporate -- disperse themselves
in the ocean
Drop a seed in a crack, and if it takes, will split the largest boulder
as it sprouts, spreads roots & a tree grows
because we take as truth
whatever we let inside,
No, that's not true, because I didn't let you --
I just took what you had to plant, because what I gave you was entrance
into the sacred soil, the sum of my inheritance,
the dust & earth two hands took
& formed me
This too is weathering.
& some days your words still echo in the hollow, where the tree grows,
where the tree grew, where the wind came to take my name,
where my chiseled face stares back
& I put down the razor,
like I put down the axe long ago.
&say my name,
over & over until each syllable is a known shape
in the space between my tongue & teeth,
until west moves east
I don't mourn me,
I mourn for the you,
we both once knew.