Issue 1 Cover Poecology

Issue 1

 

Devreaux Baker

 
 

California Sutra

 
 
 
California is a woman dreaming outside time
sleeping with her face to the sea, abalone shells
in her ears, chalcedony at her throat

She holds feathers dipped in blood, repeats
the mantra of the sky at dusk. She dreams of great
fault lines  She dreams of pushing free

from the country that tries to contain her
She carries a distant longing that moves through her
like a migration of wings envelops the sky

She dreams of all her children scattered like seeds
that sprout inside her mouth. At dusk she slips
inside my bones to walk the streets of my hometown,

eat chili peppers out of paper cups, dance to La Bamba
in the parking lot of my back yard. She undoes her hair,
opens up her dress. She is not in mourning for all that is lost,

she is reclaiming what is hers with the party of old souls
stamping on trash cans and beating drums
in the living room of my grandmother’s house

She is a hungry ghost eating all the tortillas and beans
in my sister’s kitchen, betting crazy stakes
with the Hell’s Angels, who live next door

When night falls she slips back into the shape
of a crow to call out the names of places
that link my past with hers, chanting a litany of towns
and streets, a love song inside my arms and legs, hands and feet,

Pacoima, Boyle Heights, Locke,
 
                         Hunters Point, Crenshaw, Cuca Monga
 
                                        Ukiah          Willits        Covelo
Gualala         Point Arena        Albion
                        Mendocino