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May 15, 2017 Poetry

Three Poems

Leslie Marie Aguilar

Three Poems photo


In this myth,      I’m queen of a capsized throne.
           Robes      thrown over my head      are a curtain

of heavenly bodies   —   a personal planetarium
           of ruin.      My compass points north,      when

the only direction      I want to travel is home.
           A place      beneath      the sleeves      of a star

wheel,      where      plains become      a borderland
           of splintered skeletons.      I carry these skulls

for centuries      in a funeral procession      over prairies.
           I’ve lost      my hourglass.      Replaced it

with      a secondhand sundial.      But the moon rises
           across my face.      Too late.      Tremors

radiate      through my skull.      Cold fronts crawl
           over      the balcony of my collar      bone

as cosmic winds.      & the web      stemming
           from my nose      becomes a star-studded veil.

Another      body shrouded      in mirrored thread,
           I’m fastened      to a darkening      desert sky.


What to name clusters of indigo beads blooming in my garden? Bluebonnet cousins? Starry stems? Steps away from my front door, an ocean breaks open. The door a caravel that carries me windward. & am I not homesick, yet? Rising with each current, I receive gifts of salt grapes, whale songs, & canyon winds. Less fear where water becomes prairie grass. I hold these hyacinths (now named) to my chest. Let my body be carried to their ceilinged sky.


When I exhaust all other forms of exploration,
           this landscape will deny me at the border;

& I will turn my gaze toward a darkening
           sky filled with stars I no longer recognize.

This is a realigning of the body, I imagine.
           The horizon meeting an ocean & shattering

into shards of light that pierce this meat-
           coated skeleton hurtling through space.

It’s all very dramatic against such a sound-
           proof backdrop. I put on my skin inside-

out with the seams still showing. Creation—
           bloodless veins embroidered over bone.

I’ll dance this coat into a familiar tapestry
           but will be found out. Meteors cannot

erase the scars or satellites wandering
           along boundaries of this planetary body.