In hard-packed craters, when water ran foul and my heart was still small in its progression from slave song to symphony, I watched for your seed in sand, saw spring limp into summer.
Truth and dust in my face, with my books and the entire bones of Joseph, I renounce my country (a hailstorm of welts) and search the complete evening of my life for a hillside of crops.
These things still nourish me: olive, peach, corn, cactus, orange — and a fragile sense of a god who has lost control of his bladder.
In my child mind, a furrow
cut with a stick
on the harvest table
and my mother
a warm robe
to cover my shaking chest.
Yet: from concord, war slips beyond reconciliation. Brother surrenders to the flood. The hawk swoops down on the snake. God burns his image on my thigh.
These are my stories
that on a cool night crackle
in the knots of logs; these are my smells that mix
from the curling edge of bark.
This piece first appeared in Stone Telling, January 2016.