Miriam Sagan

Two Poems

After Image

dawn
over the great basin

turns earth colors
canyon striation: dark pink, pale red, orange

which burns to furnace
in my eye

accidental
retinal image

of explosion
floating

across eyelid
or blank page

as if I’d seen
something

I should never have
looked at directly

Yellow Bird

blind woman in the casino
man in a wheelchair
poker, keno
cigarettes turn to ash
as someday
will every tattoo

(a line of Rilke
written on your skin)

you were my luck
my fortune
the lines on my palm
that converged
to narrative
dotted and semaphored
like Morse code
or Sanskrit

to roll the dice
kiss your lips
get in the car
buckle the seatbelt
cry out in childbirth
take a chance
dial the number
paste the stamp
cry out at birth

I’ll drink the cup of decaf
read this mediocre book
in the atrium
of the cheap casino
be surprised
at the appearance
of a yellow bird
amid foliage
both real and fake
blown in from somewhere
or let lose
a golden songbird
from far to the south

from the walkway
between two casinos
you can see the salt flats
shimmering
like a mirage that proves real
the closer you get.

Miriam Sagan is the author of 25 books, including LOVE AND DEATH Greatest Hits with Renee Gregorio and Joan Logghe (Tres Chicas Books, 2011. Winner of New Mexico Book Award). She founded and runs the creative writing program at Santa Fe Community College.

These poems were written in a residency with Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover,Utah.

Read Miriam’s blog  at http://miriamswell.wordpress.com

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