“When was the last time you were on a horse?
Too long ago for me to even remember.
Well, then take off your reading glasses and come on out here.”
– Desert Hearts
In memories, dreams of the childhood home on the hill,
rarely do I remember the small closet under the stairs
where mom and dad left the blue duffle of expired cans,
corn, beans, anything—Earthquake Food—so easily
forgotten. For to plan a desperate time, is not to plan
a good time. Young and
I, too, disappeared there, in the vertebrae of the house,
pressed like a thumbprint to the body’s shallow spine.
For hours, I played with plastic horses, broke them
with my palms, made them real and rugged
as Nevada. Under a lightbulb moon
we untamed ourselves. We kick-dust
destroyed little picket fences, drank water from streams,
made children as gay as me–till there were no flowers left
to eat. Just carpet, scratched gray over hardwood. My hands
themselves. The closet there, again, and everything falling
around it. Oh–they told me what happened to the queers,
how they hid or
were rounded up