it becomes fire

water moves through
the land rights
debbie says about
the bosque del apache
and therefore the difficulty of the possibility
of a path along the river
want me to take anything
out to the badlands for you
i ask and debbie hands me
the baggie of corn meal
and says to offer it
to the four directions
and above (grandfather) and below (grandmother)
laddie’s (the scottie-looking dog)
white fur absolutely illuminated
in the sun that comes in
under the gray swath of clouds
hanging over
while rachel and i seek a saddle
to pass through
after wandering our way behind the sand formation that debbie calls the mitten

thank you for showing yourselves to me i say
to the potshards
face angled into the sun
welcome home

smell of liz’s ginger spice cake
filling the kitchen/living room/dining room
as we enter post-walk/hike

again, the encounter of how things/how places
carry the spirit of what came before
and somehow, it’s not the bed or the sideyard
but this bottle of orange blossom soap
that certainly both our fingers touched
last time i was here

the spirit plate
that debbie serves up,
this is prayer,
naming the four directions
as she sprinkles the corn flour

because you mixed up the directions i joke
about the hail in debbie’s hair,
in the folded up cuff of her shirtsleeve
and bouncing overheadd
off the skylights
the title of a poem listed
in a poet lee firestone dunne’s biography:
when i wanted to carry my body in a canvas bag


burn this shit i write at the top of the piece of paper
where i write a long list
of paths i no longer need to be mainting/patterns i no longer
need to perpetuate,
how it becomes fire after i toss it onto the coals
in the woodburning stove
from the water world:

People take part in the traditionnal sea bath as part of the New Year’s celebrations at Malo-Les-Bains beach in Dunkirk, northern France. – voice of america, day in photos


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