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THREE P0EMS – Marisol Baca

on August 15 | in Poetry | by | with No Comments

Three spirals bound

to one another

Three sisters

At the edge of a stone

what is the cosmos but a radial movement outward?

to touch the fabric of one

to see the astral projection of their other

to forget for one moment

that it is only a projection
Spiral is not spire

Not arrows

Not shields

Not shells

It is a movement

the circles inside the corpus of a great tree

A slice of granite

A loop of river-bone

Our family of memory

The lost reflections of our arms and hands and our cheeks and our eyes

the reflection at the edge of the mirror

The sound of a voice as it travels up from a basement

into the drawing room

absent of folk—absent of fire

a cold dream the dark earth has of clouds and air
The spire, the sword,

embrace all ways

to enter

touch the life force

touch that which only momentarily scrapes up


spiral that bleeds a shaft of light

as dust in a ray of sun floats in a doorway

after Gerald Stern

On all these parched paths, in all this tattered landscape

and arid wind and sapless woods

I have never seen a drought

which made the ground so cracked

nor heard “Flores Negras” the way I did

in 1980 in that cherry tree house

on Sarah Lane, nor sang as I did

then, my stars all flickering, my hair all singing

my mother full of teeth, my father holding his

voice out laughing, doing the dance

of guitar and spirits, the sound of the strings, half cry

half chuckle, the world at last a river of ice melt

the three of us meandering and rippling,

as eager as the flash flood as if we rushed towards unknown—in 1980—

in New Mexico, strange thirsty New Mexico, desert

of the Rio Grande, an hour away

my aunt’s house—

the overwhelming course of birth

oh God of rivers, oh swiftly running God.

It was the sight of death we saw first.

The long silent beach and the warm carcasses of the jellies—

thousands of them—camped—waiting for the end.

Little cellophane boats entangled in kelp.

The sail-like appendages had the suggestion of sliced ginger.

The clump-float was once buoyant on the water.

Some became nests for sand fleas.

Some lay in a pool of salt and brine.

Their clear sails shivering against the day’s breeze.

Some piled,

letting their color leak into the sand below,

a crackle of blue fire and purple ooze.

And some still sailing in the afternoon tide—

humming to themselves,

drifting songs for zooids.

How long did they wander?

Their hollow tentacles were ghost hairs

collecting the floating life beneath.

Slowly they maundered into death, guided by the wind.

My father filled his pockets with them

and walked along the ocean throwing them back.
Marisol Baca is the author of Tremor, a full length collection of poems forthcoming from Three Mile Harbor Press. She was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up around generations of family in an old adobe house with a horno in the back that her father built. Her family later settled in Fresno, California. She grew up within a family of educators, artists, and writers, and at an early age began writing poems and songs. Marisol received her bachelors in English from Fresno State University and won the Andres Montoya poetry scholarship prize. She received a fellowship from Cornell University, and in 2006, she received her Master of Fine Arts. While at Cornell, she won the Robert Chasen poetry award for her poem, Revelato. Currently, Marisol is an English professor at Fresno City College. She lives in Fresno with her husband in a house in the center of town. She continues to write and teach, and is busy working on her second book. Her poetry has been published in Riverlit, Shadowed: An Anthology of Women Writers, Asentos Review, among others publications.

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