"White Flower" Copyright 2000 Darin Boville
for M. J. Vaughn and A. Gelhaus
Remember that afternoon when we met by chance
among the tall grass of the hills outside the city?
I was hiking, half-naked, up to Coyote Point and carrying
the body of a blue-belly lizard in my right palm.
We marveled at its abdomen, like a soft purse,
the twin paths of blue more lustrous than the afternoon sky.
We continued on, together. I carried the lizard,
caressing a secret in the tail as if I were a boy again.
The tiny claws, their sharp points, able to find purchase
in any surface. Later, alone, I noticed the mouth was sealed
shut with a crust of blood and dirt.
Yes, it was shock, almost stepping on the gopher snake.
I mistook her for a shadow and then a ribbon of ash,
while further ahead, the king snake lying in the late
sunlight and offering his gifts of rings.
How they immediately silenced us! We stood motionless,
beholding them as they both glided over the dirt, entering
the grass without a sound or even lifting their heads
to negotiate the change in terrain. So completely easy.
And to hell with us if we didn't get it.
I have to admit that I wasn't interested in pointing out
the buildings and boulevards of the panorama of San Jose
or finding my home in relation to the shopping mall.
I was listening to the stillness abiding all around us
while glimpsing two lovers embracing down in the fields,
naked, almost indistinguishable from the light warming our backs.
Or maybe just the light and fields loving each other and us
as we pass through, wearing a new skin of salt, thirsty,
P. S. The lizard we left under the manzanita
is gone, replaced by these two crow feathers
which is what I wanted
to happen and which I send to you.
The colors in their night, like secret
truths, are the lustrous cloaks of thieves
from the desert, come to steal our valuables
that we might find the luminous clues
to where it all
Copyright 2000 Robert Pesich
All Rights Reserved
back contents next