ALL SWAN WE ARE
Texas rangers explode in lilac the color of nothing in my house. Mesquite
trees bleed, arch of burnt bark, a plea for rain, an insult thrown down the
wash where a car stalled yesterday and a woman drowned. Some
we are. All swan without flight. All particle, a shuffling engine, running
like quails in our neighborhood back forth across the road. One deviation,
we are. Death maps us like a weather system. One push and the mind
thrashes toward form, looks for fingerprint, cause, red crest on the
woodpecker’s head. Who knows what grows after? Here the Mexican Bird
of Paradise blooms.
Show me the place where the dead go. Spinning a globe, my daughter
asks. With the angels, she says. Can we visit them? In the glistening
stars go out
into the tricked out now
we are such and mean nothing. Inside the adobe bricks of our home,
messages make their way through wire. A reading lamp hums on a timer
above my daughter and me. All night moths rattle from the paradise tree.
No need to make it song.
SUSAN BRIANTE is the author of two books of poetry: Utopia Minus (2011) and Pioneers in the Study of Motion (2007). Her collection of poems, The Market Wonders, will be published by Ahsahta Press in 2016. Briante teaches creative writing at the University of Arizona.