A Siberian Cold Front Takes

Over the Last Week of April


Siberia, I do not need your clouds today,

impaling me like a fork in a cheek.

Not that you don’t feel free to crowd my life with ancestors,

memories of bear paws and shrill white distances

cracking the civilized seams of my brain.

Today, Siberia, my head aches with your steel humidity,

cold as a slug’s mucous skirts,

slick as the stone pipe of a shamanka.

I’d like to refuse your telegram.

I am not the she-bear taken as wife by a man.

I will not give birth to the bear boy hero

who’ll save the tribe.

Take back your message

to the grandmothers who poke at the ashes

of my end-of-the-century thoughts.

Tell them to pack their travois of Arctic wind

and haul away the dull gray blades of these clouds.

Hurry on. Skip my generation of stars.

At the lip of spring

chapped by your kisses,

the numb thud of your heart stunning wisteria, tulips,

the bulging red buds of peonies,

time is short.

I fall daily in love with impossibilities- -

the screech owl flying in front of the new moon,

the rufous hummingbird who puffs his throat

like a lung of electric carnelian

through the window,

the man shaped like a grizzly bear

but I know that

just as I feel my womb contract

troops are massing on the other side of the globe

for another war

too quick for even their long talons to stop.



from  the drunken  boat





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