As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Michael Dauro – Poetry

Sierra Amnezia


Upon the shoulders of the quiet

saguaros, purple blossoms open

in the moonlight like petaled

fists of sleepy children, palms

of pollen that reel in the humming-

birds by sweetening the evening air.

These birds, these tiny floating

gardens, their tinny squeaks soaked

in the hum of their flight. There are

songs of this desert. How it eats away

at the mind like flurried moths

through gray wool, how the sierran

winds rummage through the skull

like a widow’s hands, plucking only

the ripest of stones from the shores

of memory, before skipping them across

the dunes towards the seared horizon.

Some of these songs end with a traveler

wandering the desert, smearing

sand into her wet eyes, yet there is

one version that sings of the amnesia

as a second chance in being lost, freed

from even yourself. As I walk under

the raised arms of the saguaros, the scents

of my hometown sink into shadow until

there is only desert. My ankles brush

the sage and scrub, and I can no longer

recall my mother’s hands, and soon my

name too, is lost among the humming-

birds, among the blur of their beating

wings, among their ruby and purple

throats flickering in the bronze fog.

 

Exile

Exile_Poem

 

Glass Lullaby

 

What do you say to a woman weeping?

And how do you gather the whisper

she rolls your way like a glass marble,

its steady growl across the wooden floor

a kind of far-flung thunder. What do you say

to a woman, a woman much like yourself,

half-blind in loss, lost in her own deep brickwork,

what words to utter but to drift in silence, to lift

her cold whisper and bed it upon your tongue,

to roll it in your mouth, to turn towards the door,

to walk away, to listen to the round glass as it clacks

against your teeth like a tiny skull. And what was first

a whisper from lips lacquered in snot, becomes

a lullaby from your childhood. Your hand, stilled

upon the doorknob, grows slack and you hum along,

you hum along and join this woman in weeping.

 


Michael Luis Dauro photoMichael Luis Dauro is a CantoMundo fellow. The poems that appear in this issue of As Us are from an epic in-progress titled, Sierra Amnezia. These particular poems are informed by research of human trafficking and follow one of the epic’s heroes, Rosaura.

 

 

 

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Issue 3February 14th, 2014
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