Sarah Giragosian | Poem

Terlingua, TX Haibun

In the ghost town, a way station until E.’s wedding, you keep your vow to a dry-tongued silence.
You heed every rustle of snakeweed and honey-sweet blessing, stay clear of cowboy eyes and
jackknives, freshly sharpened. If secrecy is the heirloom of the desert, I will plant ours in the
mouth of a horned lizard.  She’ll puff out in the sun or weep tears of blood, making herself
difficult to swallow. You’ll drink in the mountains, the Chisos to the east, and the side show
below the patio: a pair of baby heads growing toadstool red and a couple throwing shade with
their glances, desert-toughened from the inside out. Later, we’ll pick our way through the basins,
touring despite all there is to watch out for: crumbling adobe walls, toxic ore, the parts of rusted-
out Fords, their fenders and sheet metal left out like offerings to some burnt out god above. A
stray dogo circles and circles the back lot, pisses steam, and wanders free. Tethered, a toddler
tries and tries to pluck the reddest rocks, the killing ones, against the tug of a fraying leash. A
woman pulls a drag on the other end. Back in the good days, the bar man says (meaning the war),
our miners fished out cinnabar by the barrows from the desert. And Lord, what a time. Mercury
ran in their veins. The government money flowed in like a salve
. Your eyes tell me that the smell
of him is under your nose: car grease and dinosaur climate, the underwing of a turkey vulture.
They say not far from here, just south of the border, women go missing. Deep below us, I can
feel the earth absorbing Mariposa Mine molecule by molecule, easing the metals back. We keep
our hands pinned

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………down.  Our eyes thump
………………………………………………………………………………………………..against each other like moths
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….keeping under wraps.

.

.


Sarah Giragosian is the author of the poetry collection Queer Fish, a winner of the Poetry Journal Book Prize (Dream Horse Press, 2017). Her poems have recently appeared in such journals as EcotoneThe Missouri ReviewPrairie Schooner, and Denver Quarterly, among others. Recent honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Humanities and inclusion in the 2016 Best of the Net Anthology.

2018-01-22T11:08:23+00:00 January 16th, 2018|