The body says: I am a fiesta.
For Tandy Scheffler
The body says, I am a galaxy. Choose
sixteen or seven or ten stars and write your story
within their image: dragon, swan, virgin.
Your story will exceed the stars' boundaries.
The body says, I am not a bonfire
or a conflagration or an inferno.
I am not a crematorium.
I am not a branding iron or an ember or the single candle flame
illuminating a darkened room. I am the match
waiting to be struck.
The body says, I am the husk
left after the harvest
and I am the harvest.
The body says, I am a fiesta. I am the clay bowl
heaped with quartered limes, the salt
rimming a margarita, the skewer offering thick
slivers of ripe mango. You'll wear
your favorite yellow shirt embroidered
with yellow flowers that blossom
as you dance.
The body says, I am a dream and in this dream
you are folding paper birds. All day you fold
swans and finches and starlings. When evening comes,
your hands rest in lamplight. You hang
turquoise owls from your ficus, and lavender doves
you string past your window. Their fluttering
soothes you, their soft efforts toward song.
The Gettysburg Review