Journal of a TripJournal of a Trip
started trip. bought pile of comic books. killed
three flies and mosquito in backseat. had
a grilled cheese sandwich. saw a place
where a lot of people died. read comic books.
Daddy snored. couldn't sleep.
picked stuffing out of backseat. saw a Minnesota license plate,
three points. saw a Texas license plate, five points. saw
a cow humping another cow, ten points. had an ice cream sundae
with strawberry ice cream, chocolate sauce, rainbow sprinkles
and an American flag. kept the flag. saw a place
where a lot of other people died. threw up sundae.
Daddy snored. couldn't sleep.
punched name in the back of the front seat with a pencil.
counted road signs that had something written on them. had a hot dog
with relish and mustard. saw a place where a lot of people
did something, can't remember what it was, but it wasn't dying.
Daddy snored. tried to sleep in bathtub.
tried to read comic books, but words kept blurring. punched
thigh to see
When I cut myself, the angels watch.
I remind them of you, Mary
As a huddled girl, the stone behind your body,
A blank slate, waiting for words, the sharp prick of a dove's beak.
I cut lightly into my belly,
No scar, it seeps into me, becomes me.
My hands move slowly
As though they are being led by the letters, no closed circles,
Just lines and loops that lead out of themselves.
I do not want scars, just lines slender as snakes.
One of the angels wants to write her name,
Etched river reeds, a shattering of glass.
When I taste my blood, I taste of plums.
Mary, handmaiden, entrance to heaven,
I do not want heaven. I want snakes.
Copyright 12/2011 Kay Sundstrom
Their hands are broken
But there is no record of the nails
Which they pounded into their palms
Day by day
They learned not to mind the blood
Who thought that redemption could be obtained so easily.
A shortcoming of mine is to flinch
Before the uncertainties of bone and flesh
When moonlight screens the iron cot
I chain myself and wait
For feathers to hood a slurring face
Oh grandmother what a big nose you have
Once upon a time men could become monsters
Fingers coalescing into hooves
Bloody with revelation they knew the root
They are horrors
When Beauty awoke she found her beast
To be fur and feathers once again.
Scrubbed by fire
by the bristles of a monstrous wind,
by the singed brush of a coyote's tail,
a mooneater with flattened eyes.
He has stripped the land of portents.
There has been a holocaust here
and nothing has ever happened here since then
except the sighing of pipe lean squatters
who once were people
but now are moon eaters.
When you walk through their abandoned fields
all you find growing is sand and blackened bones.
In the Aborigine culture,
dreams are worlds. Realities
grow like fennel leaves
from a stalk, fingers
from a palm. They think us poor
trying to gather a leaf with hands
that are soft stunted pads.
I want to grow a world
in which I am a monster
something huge, bloated
with tusk and tufts of bristles
I will hide beneath beds, eat
smooth delicate children.
The townspeople will capture me,
skin me, hang my carcass from a pole
in the town square, a bauble on a stick,
not realizing that I am more
pure, content than they in their righteousness,
their panicked assumption of grace.