by Canéla Analucinda Jaramillo

for Caroline S., who knows how it feels...
and for TK, who made me feel it.

Your words are vibrant; they sound. I take them from the page, and they are sweet inside me. I am crazy with wanting to believe in echoes.

I thought it was only the nights, but even the sun now is steadfast in its refusal to absolve me. Resolve me. Involve, revolve...I am lonely. Alone. This familiar sense of isolation, now coupled with the imprint of you, stretched full and defined against the coarse, fallen sand, and each new grain mounds around your image, a canyon built of you, large across my earth, deepening.

I drop things into this and think I will never hear them fall...wait at the edge, poised for refusal: I drop a light-switch, a wall, a door...wait to hear them clattering, crouched for the run...a bed, a candle, a rose...

Farther away, spattered with the fallen sand and gripped for denial, I speak into you, crazy with wanting to believe in echoes...a labyrinth of echoes, squirreled certainty hidden under leaves...No compass I could trust here; no instrument of man could navigate the children of this dream...

In which I am walking. In which a hundred solid buildings are freckled with some light. I am walking, and the air slips thin oxygen fingers beneath the bonecage of my ribs. The blackened windows are my sisters, are my soul...pasted against the brick walls of separation, erected to the silence. Sister-weepers mourning-black, morning-blue, uneasy with my wanderings, the women I have known...

There is no safety in this night, cast like a vertical spell between us: the sky, long miles of thick fabric we are weaving, end to end, around the world. I confess I am praying for an unraveling: streetlamps spilling one by one into the sea, dissolving the cruel mathematics of roadmaps, of populations, of every vehicle traveling to someplace I have never been.

Do you remember who I am?

You painted a ceiling and left it here; I believe I prefer it to the sky. The distance grieves me, and I cut the soft inside of my mouth, when my teeth bear down on this, the hardest thing between us. I stand tracing the tear with my tongue, and the taste in my mouth is what I am saying to you.

A million words tumbling into the canyon of your image, and I am crazy with wanting to believe in echoes.

Gentle me, embrace me, warm me, engulf me--this is an empty night, and the sky is threatening to betray me.

© 1996 by Canéla Analucinda Jaramillo

Forward to Next Work
Return to Poetry Contents Page
Back to Spring '96 Contents Page

Original Graphics © 1996 by Jim Davis-Rosenthal
HTML and Design by Canéla Analucinda Jaramillo
About Standards