Susannah Habecker  © 2009 All Rights Reserved

warriors in training

one lightbulb under the back door
of Café de Andes is all we had
for light

after securing our foot pads
we pulled boxing gloves
over our hands with our teeth

we squared off between grease barrels
and the dumpster
rocking each other with hook kicks
spinning backfists and uppercuts

we didn’t need a score card or an audience
we were moving with the shadows of Benny Urquidez
Lee Siu Lung, Nai Khanom Tom, and Crazy Horse –
we traveled the primitive
corridors in our minds
where we’d find ourselves
clothed in emerald green feathers
and golden snake skins

where we’d walk into a cave
beneath the dripping roots of the world tree
to the slumbering Matses jaguar

we’d lean into her hot breath wanting her
to pounce and tear open our throats

we wanted her to thrash into our bodies
stripping and chewing the flesh
from our bones



Frida at Nacho Mama’s Open Mic Night
after a mural by Lane Cosner
                Nacho Mama’s Taqueria, Cave Junction, OR


she is no longer in the hospital
where the stillborns were entangled
in the vines beside her bed

where her pelvic bone
and the machines of anguish
floated above her

where the metal brace pulled
open her body, exposing
a broken column

now, she says, her spine is a form of music –
the sound of a saxophone

she smiles and nods her head as a woman
and man sing Leather and Lace

the artist buys her another drink
then turns back to study the patio wall

he has painted her image in a landscape
of mesas and agave –
among Lophophora williamsii:
swollen, spineless, and segmented cacti
with tufted hairs

she touches the mural and white flowers

she licks salt from the edge of her glass
then sips a green margarita

her breasts flow heavily in her red blouse

there is an infant in the music
and a network of bones
moving the clouds



Michael Spring
Copyright © 2009 

Michael Spring lives in O’Brien, Oregon. He is the author of two books of poetry: Blue Crow (2003) and Mudsong (2005). His poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review, Dublin Quarterly, and NEO. He is a martial arts instructor, natural builder, and a poetry editor for the Pedestal Magazine.

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