Grace Egbert was born in Silver City, New Mexico, one of the purported birthplaces of Billy the Kid. She now lives in Missoula, Montana where she is working on an MFA in Poetry as well as teaching Composition 100, taking digital photos and practicing domestic mysticism.
Thank you for the iridescence, the glassed-in wings, the green nomenclature.
Thank you for oil that suds, for glowing bones and false lava, for basements of déjà vu.
I still remember that iguana though, fat as bass and split open on the road.
I remember the years of aluminum, spearmint, all shorn and glossy as a carousel.
I have spent too many of my own faults on you, I suppose, have asked for life
To disappear when it is gone, for absence to be less than itself.
I am not opposed to gills or spores, nor to the hammock of larvae we shall call home.
I am not opposed to the condor’s return, nor to the taste of lamb.
Say again, grace—
And I will let the ingot in the sand, the parceling of feathered iron,
Will let go of the other panning deals I proposed, those threaded bolts of restraint.
I’ll hum for you, pretend stars are pinholes, pinwheels, pupils—
In strains of sod we lay, reticent despite subterranean trust.
Like this, we need a place, a you and I, a hand-me-down set of utensils,
and speech for our dumbth.
Row by row, we deserve what we have craved—sunlight.
Still, in nights, like the heat of a bulb held in marbles,
some leopard waits, outside confidence.
Like this, porosity yields its chronic opening, even as it succumbs,
as we do, to the clamp and prune, the slice and hedge.
In nights, you rearrange yourself according to my mass, volume.
The ceiling hovers in us—pigeon, iridescent cataract.
I magnify your fields of darkest purple, root my little roots to you.
Our cells are spades unto themselves, numbers silver as faucets.
Each tinsel precipice expects a continuity, a looping, geranium comfort.
It is there, you wake and say—
What lights you?
The mirror’s foil flecks
into a sepia topography,
Coordinates of melodic color parallel
grams of prayer In this place
as in the olden days you cast pebbles
set nickels and wishbones onto train tracks
as proof of time.
Between the slatted ribs
that hold the back of you, rocking
a new constellation appears, and in it,
you, vibrant as a fearful horse’s eye.
In the curvature of a sea-foam wall, a crack
and in it, gold-leaf You are witness
to the smallest fire, the only rule
which tenses as it approaches.
There is violence in light.
There is violence in luck.
Where inside you is a flat thing?
Where inside you is a reflecting pool?
You cannot be at once
eyes on every side of a round thing
You turn, swallow a golden coin, golden fish.
The old elm fills with crows,
liturgical silhouettes chanting threats
You are not afraid.
You are a carriage,
tendrilled and blossoming against heat death.