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  • “Drum and Whistle” And “Black Stems,” Two Poems from luca: Discourse on Life & Death
  • Rochelle Owens

Drum And Whistle

into the vast heat of spirals because your whitish bones

beating drum and whistle

morning sun multiplying her fingers loosened her braids her long slow

searching encased skull neck body skull neck body around roots yellow skin floating like props looking

I heard crows their claws searching

their veins and tendons scattered as leaves sweeten clay silt ash your long gray hands cutting

measuring skull scalp parchment

her forearm tightens spreads over blankets infected with plague seeding spirals of heat loosens her braids

black urine runs through silt ash clay shadowed on the walls spilling walls spilling sand and gravel

a lira here a lira there

sutured through her ruptured flesh

tightens cords in Leo n a rdo’s fingers elbow shoulder hip And in heel of cadavre smoke invades

one for squirrel one for crow

And if you shake leaves feverish master skin paint surgical scar riddled bright-red stems freezing paint

freezing urine blood segmented cell segmented cell by cell prototypes saturated he then looked at a circular

looked at a circular house walls sand gravel beating drum and whistle deep-pink plague as autumn winter rubs black clay

silence walls in remorseless then she looked at a circular house when you looked your veins multiplying splashes black urine

they stare down on horseback pursing their lips measuring ransacking fingers crusted fibrous entrails

invades cadavre aluminum walls in

your neck to side

you read parts of the manuscript wrong suppose

she reveals peculiar forms them vivifying cording everyday ash and blood whole aluminum pits

groups of the first Spaniards in America

On a second voyage to Guatemala moves hydrogen helium

Lenny’s blanket wrapped around parts of the dissection suppose red wild corn smoke from a burning log

the wiry brat ejaculates every foot-print of Flora multiplying your long gray hands stretched your

gray hands stretched deer skin

Mona made rings gloves crowns masks the outlines of a new country

Leo n a rdo seized the wrist of the brat squeezed his throat blood behind his teeth

placed the infected blankets one by one stomach and bones crusted for here leave sign of our fate

then he looked at a circular house

an old Osage woman crushing seeds her iron-gray braids she gouged clay quickly she pulls from fire

her saliva pools behind her teeth she pulls from fire a pot spilling morsels of beef half-kneeling Salia’s mouth measures walls

then quickly he will fill canvas image of a paysanne flinging a paysanne flinging kernels

unwinding her smock crows their claws dark-green stained windows of a stained windows of a cathedral

exposed a new country lip-synced Sigmund

you wrap a blanket around your waist folds and gathers cross and recross

stakes with forked ends into ground deep-pink crust ash spirals of heat I arch my back stretching it is a paysanne bending

gracile her brow diagonal lines skull neck you traced a scaffold a forked tree

and close upon one of the horses tendons & muscles glowing I saw Salia beating drum and whistle

your palms crushing seeds showing lines cross recross circular pulse groups moist soil of names Quicxic bloody wing Quicrixcac bloody claw

faults she gouged clay I murmured into Lenny’s ear

groups of the first Spaniards in America written on the stomach and bones fragment shovels gravel sand clay

my doubt remains widening circles circles slowly Leo n a rdo fingers he rouges his nipples the brat stares down from a scaffold arches his back stretches his neck

riders cutting out entrails their lips intone pulsate behind ice walls gouged with names crossed recrossed tribes on horseback

winding her iron-gray braids quickly she fills canvas stretching roots disgorges ancient corn plants

extracting one light amber stone

idol when gravel sand blown on wind walls in flames of stone divided roots

a black rain fell then silence and slow soaking crust ash flames swerving deep-pink plague a forked tree slicing their flesh

resin sap sweetens moonlit vines Sigmund mused fascinated the Lords of Xibalba horse and rider in...

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