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Monday Aubade

with a line from Rimbaud

To be next to you again,

to feel the knob of your pelvic bone,

the door of your hip opening

to a room of light

where a fuchsia blouse hangs

in the closet of a conch shell,

the silhouette of a single red-mouthed bell;

to shut my eyes one more night

on the delta of shadows

between your shoulder blades—

mysterious wings tethered inside

the pale cage of your body—run through

by Lorca’s horn of moonlight,

strange unicorn loose along the dim streets

separating our skins;

to be still again knowing

the bow of your spine, the arc of your torso—

a widening road to an alabaster mountain,

a secret path to a cliff overlooking a sea

salt-heavy and laced in foam, a caravel

crushing the swells, parting each

like blue-skirted thighs—lay before me,

another New World shore the gods

have chained me to;

to have you a last time, at last, a touch away,

but then, to not reach out

because my hands are dressed in scarves of smoke;

to lie silent at your side,

an ember more brilliant with each yellow breath,

glowing and dying and dying again,

dreaming a mesquite forest I once stripped to fire

before the sky went ash, undid its dark ribbons,

and bent to the ground, grief-ruined,

as I watch you from the window—

in this city, the city of you, where I am a beggar—

the Dawns are heartbreaking.

from When My Brother Was an AztecFind it in the library

Copyright © 2012 Natalie Diaz
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Natalie Diaz Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.