from This Melody —Michael Hettich
And when was the first time
you realized you were lost
you ask as we drive home
later, and when I found you,
did your bones become sharper
in your body, did your teeth
gleam any brighter, and did your secret bodies,
the bodies that lined up behind you in the past,
did they shift underground
for a moment?
Angel of knowing we’ve seen that face before.
Angel of the highway, angel of trains,
angel of the funky breeze, angel of the slapped face,
angel of the out-of-tune, angel of the outer space.
Angel of pesticides, angel of the endless-seeming,
angel of the families we’ve walked away from, angel
of everything we’ve ever said, angel of our silence.
... bodies frozen for thousands of years
are discovered, some of whom still have faces
and tongues, some of whom still have their innards.
One newly-thawed body had foot-long fingernails.
Another was covered in his own hair, which had pushed
through the woof and weave of his tunic
and cottoned him like a cocoon.
Some of the stories they told, some
of the food they ate, whatever songs they sang—
She was wearing a necklace of finely-carved shells
a thousand miles from the sea. Do you see me
at all? my wife asked last night before bed,
but I think I was already sleeping.
all the shells on the beach,
all the ripped-up seaweed
teeming with tiny lives
the clothes you wear
as though they hadn’t
been made by children,
as though they made you shine
the breaths you will waste, all the heartbeats
And the million creatures
that haven’t yet been named
and the languages that haven’t been discovered—
they are also vanishing:
a rain so soft and cool
birds shimmer as they fly, beaks open for the taste
that teaches new songs, and new ways to land
and the cool damp grass
where the inner life is clean
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky
Craig Santos Perez