Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review

Sample Poetry: Issue 13


Heaven of Animals

The girls' lashes flutter like kites where
there would be safety in seeing sky
meet ground. But this is a wood
where hairy creatures sneak while
girls skip innocent with the pine needles
crumbling around a corner.

Virgin fingers twining the world when
we are five: no pepper spray,
no keys jutting from a fist, in hiding
though it's not past twilight.

Down bristling on milky necks, the girls
shiver with beginnings of intuition.
Ignoring what is behind or above, a fall
to pavement-opened knees, scraped
palms for this modern rite of passage.
Those who jumped are women now
peeping under cars in a parking lot.

Compliance comes with years of waiting
for someone to pop out of the closet.
The girls in towels forget
to close the shutters, lock the doors
then find themselves exposed
in the house and out.

--by Sonya S. Feher


Pilgrimage

i.

A morning sun tints green pines red.
It is crisp in the Sangre de Cristos.
A powerful balm of piñon,
a flutter of mountain aspen--
almost enough to forget the vacant villages,
the quiet pueblos of faded clay
baked till they all look the same.

ii.

The room is filled with words
neglected in English dictionaries.
Latillas, vigas--somehow more exotic
than cheap cedar poles and unfinished beams.
Rough-hewn chairs of equipale,
a glowing kiva that brings
kachinas' shadows to life.
Outside, under the portales,
are the requisite antlers and skulls
that tourists have come to expect.

iii.

The square is lined with silver and turquoise,
a place where marketing meets land;
bright-colored weavings, dyed corn necklaces,
Ácoma pottery, ristras of dried red chiles.
Corners are crowded with sunburnt hawkers
of Navajo tacos and Indian fry-bread.
But I will dine in a pricey placita where
blue corn tortillas are topped with fried eggs
and customers are whiter than linen.

iv.

The city is a church,
santos in every niche,
enough tin crosses
for dozens of stations.
Farolitos flicker down streets
like a glimpse of peace,
a taste of heaven.
I walk on a dusting of snow,
filled with a faith
that the place is holy,
as only some places can be.
My heart climbs a ladder
that leads to a blue sky
for it finds no doors down below.

--by Scott Wiggerman


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