In a house of desert stone
the sun first shines – on a wash bowl
and pitcher half-filled with water.
The other half sinks into the skin
of a woman who arose
with lamplight and the need to write.
Having washed off
the sweat of old dreams
and some tears, she listens
to the wind. Outside the soft
hum of womanly song
hangs over the saguaro
like wool on a spindle
waiting to be spun
into her own grief or joy.
A gospel of living
she wants to leave her daughters
before she journeys thin
and transparent into the field. Her ancestors there
singing at the edge of a trail
once traveled by wagons. Now by coyotes.
They breathe in dust – almost tasting
the salt of unseen hands
that reach out for a tribeswoman. She
who will come soon with ink
on her skirt. The brewed scent
of red pepper and cocoa
on her breath.
Note -- the ancient Aztecs brewed chocolate as a drink with red hot pepper. It was
considered a spiritual drink with magical properties.