- The Calling, and: What Was Missing, and: Map, and: Using It, and: Revision
- The Calling
Because three Sisters work here, one named Engracia which means fullof grace, here at the shelter where people come with blisters and red eyes after walking through the desert and being driven back again,
because I am reading Sophocles, how he writes, That was to be a great/inaugural time of sorrows, and what I see is inaugural,
and there are horses on the hills above the apartment building where I stay,
and I am teaching the Sisters English and Engracia laughs when she tries to speak. She tells me about saber and conocer, the verbs that mean to know and to be familiar with, that have two different meanings,
and in the evening piano music from a radio comes down the steps and I go up in a black dress through the yellow light to give the lesson. Engracia asks, and you, what are you looking for?
and tells me a story about Samuel and Eli, Eli, variant form of Elias, meaning lord my god, how Samuel was a boy and a servant to Eli, and at night Samuel heard someone call his name, and went out to Eli, thinking it was Eli calling, but Eli said, go lie down
and the third time Eli said, it must be God, when you hear it again,come out and say, Speak, your servant hears you—
I’m coming back here to stay is what I write to my friend,
and later read the rest, how the message God gave Samuel was that Eli would be killed, and all his sons, and Samuel gave the message to Eli, and Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and let none of hiswords fall to the ground. [End Page 96]
- What Was Missing
The undersides of the hands. The hair.
The eyes. The chin, the spot where the chin
becomes the neck. Both of the arms.
The armpits. The left tennis sneaker,
Wilson brand. Water that we could
have left for him. The sound of trains.
The canals that carry sound into the ears. The ears.
Bruises and lips. Wallet, if there ever was
a wallet. Genitals and what they wanted.
Light after a while. Dark after a while.
Thighs. A name. The face, the neck. [End Page 97]
Stupid mind, turning away from music and saying there is no music. North Carolina in January, snow on the river, my teacher is saying, It’s like walking on a tightrope, my teacher is saying, Don’t look down.
From Tucson take 19 south to Arivaca. Turn on Ruby Road.
The February sun is white behind John, who’s Quaker and who invited Annie and me out for milkshakes when he heard. He’s saying, Everyone dies, and I say, This is different, meaning the geopolitical facts whereby some people have to leave home and other people can stay, and the only way to cross is through the desert. He says, Different how? and I say, He was killed, and Annie puts her head on my neck as though I am her lover.
Pass Ruby, the ghost town, the pilings from the mine.
At the training they’d explained: a typical sign of heat sickness is confusion. Sometimes the skin becomes sensitive, the softest cloth an irritant. Sometimes people are found with their clothes next to them, folded neatly.
Park on the road just in from waypoint 1186, or on Ruby Road, at 1177, near mile marker 12. Hike south.
We’re hanging silver stars and tinsel from the roof of the shelter, since it’s Advent, we’re making cupcakes, drinking Coke, when Jorge comes in, Jorge who keeps crossing and then showing up again, who wears a shark-tooth necklace he got when he lived in LA. This time his face is gray and his hands are shaking. I sit across from him, and he tells me about the teenaged girl they found in what used to be a river, how he...