Morning builds a small fire in the clay chiminea
whose mouth is the belly of a deer, head
tiared with clay antlers and flowers my husband dreams
under the wall that holds
the world's snoring guitars in its adobe hands.
Last night teen thugs pistol-whipped my nightmare
in a school, where they sprouted
black leather and semi-automatic sneers
bitter as wasted coffee grounds
I squeeze for an early mug.
What use was there for classrooms?
Which cracked-out mother or absentee
father expected me to baby-sit?
Angry as the nuclear feet of fire ants
teens spilled from desks, insults
ricocheting off riddled blackboards until
I finally refused the lowriders of cynicism
for the tall shadow of a deer I followed
from the upthrust fists and down
the fragmented postmodern halls of disillusionment,
squeezing through the metal detector
and out the barred door.
One young gangsta slicked with a Chrome 38
shrank back to a sweet-haired boy,
why are you going? what makes poetry
leave us behind?
Something like a high-peak breeze
claimed my thick breast, my long-gone throat.
Rattling the 12 point rack that crowned my heart, I lifted
the young Crip to this belly-borne fire, to poetry's
deaf ear, as the guitars crackled awake.