Good SoldiersI, too, saw God through mud –The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child…At the doctor's office, I'm limping.Long weeks have passed since hysterical coiling demons first awakened in the muscles of my legs, strangling the veins to my feet as an invading army would cut off water to the besieged. It no longer hurts, but I walk gingerly on wooden toes, fearing what new injury fibromyalgia -- the Beast -- has inflicted on my depleted, worn-out body.Like a jockey without his tack, I ascend the platform to have my weight read.My mother begins to chafe under the suspicious sideways glances leveled at us by the nurse manning the scale. The woman has decided that the numbers quantifying my collective person are not satisfactory. My mother catches the unspoken criticism and asserts with indignation that her twins eat whenever they can. We Under Suspicion say so ourselves, but
100 Poems: You Challenging Me?To the kitchen she marched like an imperious Napoleon in pink shoes, and from her dramatic well-timed pause in the doorway -- shoulders back, arms jammed on hips, hair swept from her pale face to frame her glare to full effect -- she could see him seated at the table, his mouth bulged out with tomato and roast chicken. Absorbed in eating, he took no immediate notice, but at the sound of *ahem*, his skittish dark eyes angled toward her, widened in a flash of alarm, then narrowed beneath the crush of his heavy brows.Having arrested his attention, she continued her martial advance, halted beside him, and the mighty glare she'd brought along intensified in the presence of his own. She stubbed his chair with her toe, then impaled his sandwich on the point of one sharp forefinger.Her haughty upturned nose stabbed at the ceiling. "You," she scorned him.He stared mutely, turning red and white in turns."You," she repeated. "You make me ill."His throat tensed as
Burn BabyThis is a country whereI can't watch spiders weave their webs betweenMy fingersI powdered my face with alkaline dustAnd went out to fall in love withWind storms and end-of-summer sunlightHe found me, in boots with too many bucklesDrunk on the playa, singingRow Row Row Your BoatTo a lake with no waterI could hear my skin crackle as I lifted my arms,Laced my fingers around his neck andPressed my forehead to his cheek -It was rugged, the way his shadowed faceStung against my sunburnAt night the lights gave way to alcohol, my worldSwayed as I did on his shouldersWe watched as men danced with tesla coils, andMade love to lightningThere were serpents breathing fire, but I couldn't care -I was breathing dust, the dehydration wasMarvelousSummer trailed, likeThe tail of a heavy lizard, likeInfatuations that grow heavy withYou as the foundationBut I was a desert child, my hairWhite from the dust devils thatThrew me to you, and the new kind of loveThat lasts until you
TrenchesShe's aphasic. She doesn'tcough mustard gasfrom rice paper lungs.Her armies have learnedit's habit to fight,fall back,retreat,lose a black mud trenchand retake itfive hours later.For one million casualties,one hundred yards were gained.Each yardis ten thousand men down,and she crawlsover their bodies,fingers and toesgrapplingwith dirt, blood,and blue flesh.She says,Sometimes I'm so hungrythat I feel full,sick and clenched.And sometimesmy empty hands feellike they're holding somethingheavyand solid.