* Alchemy Farmhouse *

Outside Tuba City
July 2, 2007, 10:06 am
Filed under: poetry

I stood outside the roadside stand,
unsure how to approach it
What did I know,
a stupid white woman,
I feared liking nothing
and seeing their faces
I feared liking too much,
and seeing them hate me for my greedy
white girl ways
I walked gingerly across the cracked
to where they sat
women huge with experiences
country music low from small radios
that looked like
white people’s trash
I held my breath,
in hopes that I might also
breathe in some kind of
desert invisibility
I walked around that rickety lean-to
like I was in a house made of glass,
too heavy a tread and I’d
shatter the floor and
be swallowed by
some beasts
I whispered hello as the
old women worked,
wearing T-shirts and
the heat so dry
my nose stung
I hated myself as my
husband made conversation and I
only clammed up.

At the next stand
there was a man
his youth put me at ease
I spoke at first like a foreigner,
unsure of myself
all words like a question
but he told me his name,
and I shook his hand
He asked about NY,
and I ran to my car.
I gave him a seashell
and told him about the beach
that I had plucked it from
I told him to give it to his daughter
because he said she liked the sea.
In the car my husband asked
if I had told him that in NY,
the Native Americans had once
used that shell for money
I just said no
I had made a friend, and I didn’t want
to tell him anything about
people he had never known.
I think about him
when I puncture my flesh with the wires of his wife’s
peacock-blue earrings.



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