Poem 24

One day
When had been married 10 years and 2
His children perched
Waiting porridge drops in their bowls.

Steamed curled from his coffee, like the curl in het mother’s hair. And suddenly

For the first time in a few seasons
He reckoned with the body.

This reckoning happened

When he crossed a sandy step
When he saw a woman selling herself

But most
When he saw his own daughter

And wondered if his death and his wife would turn her to a body.

Then he sipped his coffee.

Years later he realized he had found a body
But the woman needed help. He was too late to help the woman and she could not help herself.

Poem 23

They
Put
The
Body
In
The
Ground

They
Covered
The
Body

And
All
Went
To
Silence

Poem 22

It is time to place the body in. We are about to drop in.

No.

The stanger looks at me. He has traveled far in night.

No.

He does not understand me. He starts to pull it to the hole.

NO.

I pull back.

Some of the material shreds.

No. No.

When she is in the ground. One day I may forget.

No. No.

If I forget who in the world to care?

In the struggle to place the body a finger snaps. Pieces crack.

No one will care about this body, yet I must give it back.

Poem 21

The man, body and stranger arrive to a mesa. They don’t up.

The stranger says this place is just his people’s burial ground. But sacred all the same.

We take our hands to dig. A spot for this body to rest at last. It is a slow duty.

The sand shifts and slides, tumbling back to the hole

We are done at last

The body will live forever in a hole 6’×1’×4′.

Til the flesh rots and the bones eventually rise. Bleached by deaert sun.

The next tim3 someone finds this body she may be 1 whitened skull.

Protruding.

Poem 20

Onyx thoughts.

Traveling by night. Following a stranger. Hoping I do right.

No kin will ever cross a desert to aee a body
Interred in sand and time.

But my onyx mind suggests if I search
For kin
For friends
For love

There will be none to find.

I let this man take us on. The body. Me.

I know when I depart, I can’t truly be free.

I will leave this body in a whole.

I will let the sand and cracks
As the skin peels away.

I will try to tell others of the body.

My onyx mind suggests

They will mumble something about only a whore

Turn back to their garden

And leave me to carry this body

Alone.

Poem 19

Back to the cart.

To meet a final end.

I think about this body. I was never its friend.

This body wantes food. I did what I could to eat.

But a body needs a touch not paid for or on demand.

Bodies need fresh air. Air you can’t get lockwd into the crib.

Bodies need to feel safe. But mine I let be punched, burnt, kicked, forced

Mine bled

Mine leak3d tears

Til it lost its voice.

When a body lives like this, food becomea a choice.

Poem 18

A man came up to speak.
No shirt. Some paint across his face.

The moom shone down and stuck in hos shiny hair. Hair down his back.

He spoke a whisper to the man.

The man whispered back. A child made small.

Once in Colorado I foumd a body laying there. I took that body here so I might understand its life before it is set to the ground.

“Do you now understand”
The stranger wants to know.

The man assents.

Then come with me. Across these hidden paths. I know a sacred place to go.

Poem 17

I am not truly aware as he covers me with sand.

I am just a body. I remotely see. I don’t feel.

Grains slip, a fine miat flowing softly.

Some on what was my eye. Some on the material wrapped tight.

But he does only a handful, another. He stops.

His hands over his face. He cries.

Strange little man. None cried for me in life. Now his tears flow. Beyond.

They would coat the desert but the desert is too vast.

No sound here. No coyote. No wind. No human.

Just a body and a man lost in the waves of soft erasure.

Poem 16

Above the cart was a large empty. No stars. A sliver of moon.

He heard a coyote. The sand no longer scorched. But it thickened. Bound his steps.

The mule stopped. It could not be urged on. So he jumped down.

He pulled the body to the sand.

Poem 15

Why would you carry a body around?
You know her now
You can notify her kin.

Why carry a body around?
Perhaps you engage in sin.

It isn’t. It ain’t right.
You can’t keep that thing there.

Why carry a body?
It must have disease.
It has flies buzzing round.

Let us burn it to the ground.

We will give you a new cart.
Assume you meant for good.

But he took his cart insisting I will bury her as I should.

He push his mule to thw desert. No plan where to go. Her childhood had been 2 months journey away. Colorado, still several days. The body would have to end its journey somewhere in the desert haze.

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