Language of Heaven
rich wheat in western fields before a tornado mowing
impossible seeds into a fury of absolute airlessness,
all in destruction and brilliance, carrying the day
its death at noon, clouds as curious as horses at
the wind with suspicion and gravity, with care
from all other concerns but this, ripeness, absence,
falling into that same day, without settling, without sight,
the dust rolling itself into devils of wane belief,
the snap of the trees where there are trees
the particled stillness after.
crowd watches in desperation as the house rises up
the mouth of the wind, not wind but a wild screaming
of black sky, anchored to each other as birds circle
are fed up into the stream of fingers at mad vibrato,
I stand there only among dead bits of barn and corrugated
by the sudden fleshiness of my own weak tentacle of earth,
of open land erupting into flames of dark air, ears
to the pressure of loves torn through by a scratch
nature, butterflies and bees in speckled patterns
the pavement at my feet.
were among the remnants of timber, the pots and rags,
of wood and fragmented enamel, singing the death song
some last bird, hawk, jay, transformed by the resulting
a sacrifice, the aftermath of all we ever thought to have
like nervous stalks, stripped clean like our commitment
that farm, its ears shattered and bled rich as
of soil, the animals anchored finally in fear in their
steps, sleeping beneath the weight of counties, unreachable
your hair in mimic of the seconds allotted for memory,
no one to recover from the sickness of first calm.
Canyon on the Paria Plateau,
Navajo sell their silver overlooking
great fall. The red desert of the Colorado
Lee's Ferry and Navajo Bridge.
mongers come from the other side
the sun, where water is sacred
when the river gives up only mud.
shot down the canyon wall and across.
descend Dantean for the literati
close and dry for the native hawks
spur a failing glottophagy. A hunger
devour all this landscape's language.
harsh reality at this time of year
weather. But then the highway
it aimless, and orange moving
magenta. The traders catch a glint
silver says more than a thousand
a mirroring of thirsty distances
we come back to cultivated sands
with living echoes.
La Beata de Piedrahita
was a moment when she knew the irons of the Inquisition
reach her. There was the darkness these men
thought, and now I shall succumb. But among her
believers, she prized the fearful and a few with power
to keep her heresy from public eyes
to save her from the Tombs. But few knew
spoken with the Virgin, and this was enough, she felt,
secure her place wherever they might send her.
Salamanca, in the household of her father,
left each morning in his bondage to the builders,
for the Lord, in his way, by carrying stone
the Church, she would wake to the suddenness of twilight
not know if it were day at all, but perhaps some
moment of her own forthcoming. Still as
small house was with her father gone,
was a sentence she knew she must live with.
felt the worlds rub close together and nothing
for this one could be done.
was not the forms of darkness, the alumbrados
their Gnostic sources, but those others, hidden
what must have seemed forever, who found
her voice the bridge to God’s syllables, a light of
congealing. She held council with the Lord
told their judges, and so would know the ends of these
the true faith. She would have given herself up
whatever forces, for they were small, and limited to
temporal. While others burned, and few, at the
the fire, would say more than that they corresponded,
reached for the light ambered in the flames.