Christmas, 2011 / No. 27

The double helix harmonic whir

of the throat singer—the only doublespeak

free of hypocrisy.

My mother smashes my wineglass

and reads the shards like tea leaves.

The winding dirt road of avoidance—

finally washed out, impassable.

We fled the escalating violence

of the violin, soared between branches

and reassigned all borders.

One day we’ll swim through the subway tunnels

of our history and not reach the far bank,

not win the gold-plated prize of hollow stones.

The larvae she plucks from my mouth

harden in the light, knock

against each other like marbles.

The circle, in a fit of misguided empathy,

lets in even the myopic landlord.

Muy bien, muy bien! the sidewalk cheers,

roused at last from its dusty, waltz-free ennui.

The glass fragments line up,

sweep themselves into a pile

and reassemble into today.