for Grace Schulman


On my adobe’s red-earth floor something is making the light jump
like a jack-rabbit, up and off whitewashed walls. The flowers outside
take in canvas or run it out, stretching their brightness to morning’s
indigo which they breathe in and turn glassine, and I think: things are

only so deep, emblems of rhythms not the rhythms themselves, hints
to pick and twist to other dimensions the way those buzzards are rising
out of sight in wide baldacchinos following air’s grains, while round them
gray skeins draw down and across to form the skyloom the Tewa say

the world is woven on. The rain is still in distant mountains as the sun
breaks free and tries to stand alone, then begins to move toward me,
drawing cloud-threads into a lovely tree that flickers and  unfurls.
It’s a trick, I know, as I watch it spread into a huge bole and branches

draped with Spanish moss, but hanging from a bough by his neck is
a black man, a doll in the photo I found as a child, a marionette that still
stays on that tree twisting, an ornament bloody and unsexed, as worshipers
look up smiling, posing for the camera, men women and children my age

at  their world’s renewal, so I close my eyes, trying to trace the lovely tree
climbing from the earth over sage and creosote bush, up into the world
of faded star-bones, into the icy vastness whose shadow this world is.