It began with an innocent nick
from the crown of thorns.
Then our fingernails
brimmed with blue paint
and his invisible left eye
laid broken in my hand.
In my parents' bedroom,
the statue stood between
two mirrors over false
his hands heavy with air.
Every day, after school,
a scratch from his callused
feet, a comb of fingers
over the grooves of his hair.
My sister and I couldn't
explain the rainbows
of archeological dust
on our cheeks.
Even after our mother spanked us,
(the Slipper or the Belt?)
we swiped tiny curls
from the sacred heart, burning.
We wanted to dig for the fire
that made the heart beat.
Our hands open to the beauty
After Sylvia Sukop’s I forget myself (I forget you)
Walking to the office, a man forgets his leather
watch, his valise and climbs inside a billboard,
stapled with night sky and stars. He is tired
of losing. The stars are lined up, ready for
their labor of dark, aching. There’s no moon
here to guide them, some romantic notion.
They’ve punched their gas, their glint like nails
through a tin lightbox. Outside, the day is hotter,
brighter, and the man notices his hands
for the first time. His body unknotting from
the concrete, then nothing, nothing. Air.
Rachelle Cruz is from Hayward, California (in the Bay Area). She has taught creative writing, poetry and performance to young people in New York City, the Bay Area and Los Angeles. She hosts “The Blood-Jet Writing Hour” Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio. An Emerging Voices Fellow and a Kundiman Fellow, she is working towards her first collection of poems. Please check out her blog here.