With our bodies for percussion we dance around the fire,
listening to our animal instincts, the sounds we can make
with our hands, hips, feet, legs, arms, tongue, mouth, lips;
we know it is not by words, but by meaning that we communicate.

We aim to unite our restless spirits with the Earth, to assimilate,
to find ourselves in the yoke of a mountain and not to wake to stir, but to stare
and settle into a liquid force. Still we twist our waists, shaking the
fringe to separate time into the beats of wooden beads as if saying, “No, no, no.”

Low drums pound in the distance, faster and higher into rattles.
The snake bites only if you slow down, so no one falters;
we’d keep spinning if only we’d burst into feathers and never be
heard from again.

Am I to blame?
The shame and weight and rage that leave their mark
on the soles of my feet, make coal imprints as I navigate
the pot hole streets of Los Angeles, attracting the sun–––
and when the sun tips its gaze, the earth bakes and
cracks and separates, our earthquake love gripping at tears in their continents
like pieces of wrapping paper on a Christmas present, pulling from polar opposites.

Could you tell, by the stars?
Or did you feel yourself dropping to the bottom of my heart
by the change in atmosphere–––the everlasting day, slicing wind, icebergs?

When I imagined a love that could change the world,
I never thought it would come with such sacrifice and guilt.
So am I to blame,
just for thinking it?
You would never say.

We pull up the weeds, everything beneath it exposed. The cobweb of roots and stems snapping like electrical wires, dust spreading like smoke. Spiders, beetles, roaches, larvae scurry away, my skin crawling with disgust, wishing weeds were unplanned flowers instead of garden killers. After, the patio is a mess. Loss leaks from the littered remains–the frayed leaves, broken stalks, patches of unsettled ground. I count six snail shells overturned, one white shell filled with dirt, the others slightly trembling and I remember when my garden was empty. And how one weekend it rained and my jungle was born overnight. And gone again, in fifty minutes.