We are pleased to welcome Rodney Gomez, who will be reading at our June 6th Library Reading Series event. He has agreed to share some of his work with us in advance of the event.

     The sun bloated, coming out of extinction . . .
—Thomas James

She sluices into gloved hands
white as deep sea spiders.
Yawping, dissolving in dirge.
In the ward’s unflinching fire:
a kinked bone transom the doula
lays down on the mise en place
with steel skewers & tongs the width
of hagfish. For escaping.
This world to the next.

The first things she smells:
terrified horse hooves,
wedding bells, stitch of ants
in the gravel ordered
as Nazca lines. Her breath
stinks of copper, arms
erupting in two
gray geysers. The zinnia
& dahlia zipper
together in dusk.
Everything brambled.

She finds a necklace
of convulsing affirmations.
Neck belled with amaranth,
clothes slick with jicama pulp.
To repel. The fields blare
into the sky. She walks away
a sliver, ransomed birdsong
balled in her throat until every
root crawls back into its native
water. Before the catafalque.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Lately I have been a gap.
Moth clouds follow me to bed.
I counted them: twenty, fifty, block, choke.

In the room where I used to sleep
a breath hangs low on the bed
and hoarsens the room.
No one knows where the air is
charged and released into the world,
but it thistles.

This is how breathing fills a house
with family: breathing to draw
the buzzing to its source
and breathing to lacquer a plugged maze.

How a house fully beamed and walled
is not a house, but a husk.
How a life in the span of a few breaths
becomes a clockless thing.