I like it back here
Under the green swatch of the pepper tree and the aloe vera.
I like it because the wind strips down the leaves without a word.
I like it because the wind repeats itself, and the leaves do.
I like it because I’m better here than I am there,
Surrounded by fetishes and figures of speech:
Dog’s tooth and Whale’s tooth, my father’s shoe, the dead weight
Of winter, the inarticulation of joy…
The spirits are everywhere.
And once I have them called down from the sky, and spinning and
dancing in the palm of my hand,
What will it satisfy?
I’ll still have
The voices rising out of the ground,
The fallen star my blood feeds, this business I waste my heart on.
And nothing stops that.
-from The Southern Cross by Charles Wright (Random House, 1977)