My father used to pay me
to pick up dog shit
in our back yard
so he could mow.
A dollar thin girl
with a plastic bag
and a mind tracing the underside of leaves,
balancing on toadstools,
swaying rhubarb and cattails
behind the metal kennel
and tar paper roof.
we were taming the only part of our lives
that was still wild.
in the smoky seabed silt,
under the grainy silk clam tongue,
my shiny wet moon shone.
of pearl, an oyster shell my silver spoon
tilted into thirsty throat, my voice
in red wine, like the ancient Queen.
trees with fanned palms
balance heavy clusters of sea salted
Grecian bulbs, silhouetted the profile of
Tight bitten Kalamata flesh,
the resistant pit holding a secret
older and clearer than a diamond,
Clung fine fish gill feathers
cradled a porcelain globe with a gentle secret.
Pure life-giving yolken yellow speech.
could give flight to the birds
if I could break the right rock
and witness the purple broken life inside.