Self Portrait With Airplane Turbulence
BY MÓNICA GOMERY
I don’t know what I am, but I am not
one incarnation. 7 miles over the city
the plane bucks between tar-coated angels
& night’s groaning lightbulbs.
On my way home from una visita:
my grandmother, 100 years packed
into her, coral & mammal.
She pressed my hand
in hers, said esta manita tan suave.
My body obeys, begins tumble
breath caught between gullet
& fingers switching the music:
soundtrack I could die to, some way
to give thanks. Scorpio moon,
eyes wheel up, my abuela already cupping
my face in her palms, coos bendiciones.
I have washed the dead before. I know
exactly how many buckets of water.
Way Too Late
BY MÓNICA GOMERY
for elegies about the earth, too late
to speculate about orangutangs
and osprey and a car flooding
down that filthy chocolate river
German street with a sticker
on its bumper saying
fuck you Gretta. Too late
for compost, ecopoem,
too late to list the glaucous
green taxonomies and call them
other than eulogies, to find out
later the bumper sticker was a fraud
but not the flood. Ecopoem—
I hate that, because my people
have written them for millenia,
we call them Tehilim,
they are kindnesses, are credit,
condemnation, and the root
word means to shine a light,
to illuminate with awe, the kind
of awe that implicates. A litany
of cedar trees and riverbanks
and howling braying mammals
is not a comfort, not pastoral
but a clamp-song fastening,
a heap and rapture over We.
We did the research, the professor
tells me, kids in America
use I and Me eleven times more
than We and Us,
is it too late for this?
I call R on my dog walk
say, how’s today? She says,
my baby’s breathing burning
trees, we stayed inside all week.