The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Laura Manuelidis
At the edge of the garden
The donkey I used to laugh at
Carried me up the mountain:
Not that animal with perfect even teeth
Not that Arabian with rounded hard cheeks
whose sweat becomes perfume
between my thighs
Irresistible in stampede
with his stallion snort that continues
to paw my admiration
Kicking up ancient dust from my always present
Not that one who abandoned me
When I had no water left in my womb:
Only my darling donkey lifted me up the mountain
of my mistakes
so many that she whinnied for them
Nibbling the poppies : encouraging the evening
Apple to shine blissfully. I watch her small, left deft hoof now
As it steps over the crevasse.
Also her outsized head, always quizzical.
No wonder the Arabian of my first dreams
Wants to mate with my silly donkey.
Here she stands in a moving film
Recording the downcast
Rubble of the concrete arms
Bearing the frayed
Sounds of her language — how she says mother—
Rubble of the human home.
Now she knots her shawl
As she inhales another day of broken pots:
“I beseech you, with the oiled steam
Whistling through the cracks in my clay
To stop the bombs, the fires eating us:
Which way can one turn?”
Swaddled in black cloth
Stars have no freedom to annotate her space.
Where is the future, the dromedary to carry her
With crumbled tablet of graven dates?
“Sometimes I envy the dead” she said.
Copyright 2006-2012 by Cook Communication