for John Nichols and Arturo Madrid
On the road to Taos, in the town of Alcalde, the bronze statue
of Juan de Oñate, the conquistador, kept vigil from his horse.
Late one night a chainsaw sliced off his right foot, stuttering
through the ball of his ankle, as Oñate’s spirit scratched
and howled like a dog trapped within the bronze body.
There is no gene which single-handedly builds a leg, long or short. Building a leg is a multi-gene cooperative enterprise.
She went running by.
I never saw a girl
with such long legs.
She ran by again.
Natalie Shapiro – I Am Not Built for Dead
bodies—my people in their tsarist shanties
wouldn’t have come seen one, only attending
funerals for their own. They came to this land
of table wakes and windowed typhoid caskets
so I could have a new life mourning