where the writers are


Fog on the horizon

hides hard island edges.

Close to the patio

sprinklers swish: streams rise

in sun before falling in the garden.

Six plastic-pink flamingoes

parade by the sago palm.

A pair of dolphins, together

still after twenty years, watch

from the granite fountain.

Stripping an apple, peel swinging

in air, I think of Mother

who sliced what grew around her.

From wood the size of playing cards

she whittled small animals:

our cat on haunches, neck turned.

She carved a woman

on her knees, mostly stomach,

hands buried her bowed face.

Santa Ana winds blow dry

scatter dust in their wake.

Hummingbirds circle coral bells.

Their wings, shadow puppets

on stucco. Heavy with petals,

dahlias bend to rocky dirt.

Once I caught a Regal Moth—

panes of ruby and jade.

For three days, she flew.

Tonight my namesake calls

like Linda Blair from The Exorcist:

voice gravelly, emerging

from Minnesota. At 25 Satan

and God crowd her head.

No meds can wash them out.

God will kill you for leaving me.

I squeeze the receiver

not forgetting her butterfly nightshirt—

wings pressed against me.