Inside the body, hummingbirds are possible.
Inside the body I am all tree.
I am open windows, I am light.
It is always a day of rest for my hummingbirds.
How lovely in the body
to be a hammock hoping for the little wind
of horses and groomsmen, to ask how many gallops
it takes to marry a silversmith.
In the body I am all song:
like the sound of crows leaving me my summers.
I am buttons for the torn coats of beggars.
I am sailboat and harmony. Inside the body,
I am a good daughter to cathedrals I am happy to drown in.
I am roses, dresses and feathers.
I am numbers and love the math of tricycles.
I gather all my fractions.
I am all names, my hummingbirds.
I am all forevers.
When my Sunday dinners are ready, I am all bread.
Let all who are hungry come and sit at my tables.
Along the road of memory, there are statues of fire and the closed hands of a child praying.
I see the burnt body of my mother, lying on the hospital bed,
like an island of white gauze.
Fire is good to memory as one thing it can’t forget.
Then, there’s a youth of prayer, for the Sabbath,
for the new month and, sometimes, for the full moon
lighting up the wheat and all its mothers who haven’t burned.
What dress to wear to honor memory, what shoes, what purse?
When the trees fear fire and hum the prayers
for their upcoming fruits,
—after Sherwin Bitsui
When we river, our long hair spreads blue
within the banks of manna. The breezes
along our riverbank
open their mouths at the feet of reeds
that don’t believe in sin. And the moon,
that lovely fruit, whispers songs into the faces
of swimmers turning toward silver. Rivering,
we don’t regret the loud fish of the past, we enjoy
the white caps of memory,
let the chest carry its beautiful burden of bluegills
to our banks gracefully.
Our marshes are grateful
to be blessed with yellow breaths.
Boats held up by our fingers carry corn to those with old hearts.
When we river,
the holy night crests at our elbows.
Eva Skrande came to the United States from Cuba. Her publications include My Mother’s Cuba (River City Publishing Poetry Series) and Bone Argot (Spuyten Duyvil Press). Her poems have appeared in Clockwose Cat, SurVision, Visions International, Smartish Pace, among others. Recently, she was the featured poet at AlternaCtive PubliCations. She has taught for Writers in the Schools as well as the University of Houston-Downtown. In her current transfiguration, she teaches and tutors at Houston Community College.
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