Monday, November 3, 2014

Christina Vega-Westhoff


The day is a cascade of little daggers
They line the alligator’s still body
The beautiful mud distracts you
The dry traces of the tractor’s tires
Which crossroads through mist
The whiteout in the dance, sound so loud there is none
In the woods with falling leaves your footsteps or a bird
Before your scratched up sunglasses
If a feather or a dagger first feels between the teeth
If through the stillness you are eaten
Here is her celebration, grotesque
Butterfly wing creasing teeth butterfly wing
Creasing handmade girl costume creasing
Daylight pulled out from the covers
Your opera, alligator still as if nothing
No smashed up face of daylight, the way the earth dries
All you see swift tail erasing
The promise we are all erasing


The opening between worlds                   two bodies revolving
Green crush of ginkgo on the skin
Crush of limbs
Partitioned dependence
A stream of prayers stitched like little country flags
Folded at the back of a wallet
Set on the dashboard
Hitting every so often the beads hung from the rearview mirror
To say our bodies found in the wreckage of the survival
Our tree skin, our matching handprints
The ginkgo that grows still when all else was killed
Goethe: are we not one in many
If we are little traces of sunshine all yellow until the screen fades to                                                                                           gray
A gradual drip down           the pallet melting
Or the one speck there left
Gray with a little yellow, the survival seems a little more horrific
The deep grinding of the organs in disagreement with the body’s                                                                                      stress
The reminder of life if we piece it apart
And the birds strain their voices
Between thumb and forefinger, the history
Our facepaint, green smear
Who proffered, our disappearing feathers


you hit rewind
and backwards we walk the circle
we with our threaded patience
you with the busyness of a straightened leg
layers of breath removed from the world
underneath you now our tangled bodies
reach. you knock the Russian dolls from the table
little one crying her one glazed tear
your reflection in it, we sail through
so you see us too, your hands twist
the wooden hollows, where we are buried
again and again until you let us walk away

you lift your finger from the button
so we are on our hands, our feet mourning the altar
crossed an arm laid still as offering
a pit of knee without tickle
and this miraculous lifting we do
so full so drenched in gold altar light
we carry your old world new world worshipping
one ironed-out map of ill set ink fading continents
the ballerina stretches over you picking up the dust
litter in regular time it is as if this takes forever
no regular time rose hips calisthenic feeder
it’s even this way not possible for you to trace or more so


Flipping the heart and holding the knees closely,
going into death, into the tomb until hung by the hips’ crevice

Pulled to the matte finish, limb-by-limb unraveled

Blink and you are in mourning
Woman with the lost child            Arched in grief, staring into hands,

Held only by hooked elbows         One slips,
the way grief will surprise the grieving

A single elbow left holding           The look outward,
the distraction from grief that overwhelms

A leg climbs over, arms weave through ropes,
body revolving to be held in cradled arms, the way one carries a                                                                                       child,

limbs sprawled until the body sunk and set within    To set asleep
Yet the climb, yet the lowering of self

Yet the seconds and the music setting
The body, liquid in its heat, remains

© Christina Vega-Westhoff


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