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We move within the snow-chromed world—: Like-animal. Like-deer. An alphabet. Along a street white as lamp light into the winter, walking—: like language, a new text. I touch her with the eyes of my skin.
The way I read any beloved—: from the ramus of the left jaw down to the cuneiform of the right foot. She isn’t so much what she is—: and becomes herself only when added to the space where she isn’t. What is touch—: not the touch not the hand but the white heat it floats through.
I count her my desires, mark her—: hoofprints across the frozen page. Four strokes of dusk. Carbon black, Lamp black, Bone black, Hide glue—: I am the alchemist of ink. She answers me, Quicksilver,
and the noise of her boots upon the snow is the weight of a night-bird bending the meteor-blue branch fruiting white-flames of cotton. Each of her steps, an allograph—: bird, flexed limb, perfect line of vertebrae, the glyph of my pelvis.
When I put my teeth to her wrist, the world goes everywhere white. Not sound but the dizzying nautilus of what is both the palm and the ear. I invented her hand in this texture—: a grapheme.
In me, a feeling—: white blossom with a red-sided icosahedron inside the warm car of a gold train vibrating its way to a dimmed station in my chest—: twenty seats of desire, and I am sitting in each one.
I burn on the silver sparks of her breath moving out of her body. The miracle, no. The power and the glory of her—: she breathes. Out—: Out—: twenty red seats of desire, I break every one. A series of waves against the hammer the anvil—: a vibration of light I can hold with my mouth.
Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Diaz teaches at Arizona State University and the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Rez MFA program. Her first poetry collection is When My Brother Was an Aztec.
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