Some can’t do a long life if it’s too short
or their wings wet and refusing to dry.
They can’t fly then. Their breath quits trying to
overcome what they fear most, the image
of flesh peeling off as fire licks their bones.
The voice is gone. It goes first. Who knows where?
I thought I knew. I said to the master,
Help me go where I can gain mastery
over fear of failure, of death, the mute
caroling in my head of bells tolling
from one end of the plaza, mercado
o cementerio in Cuetzalan,
where living neither there nor here I knew
secrets would be found if I were lifted
to the sierra. The great wings were dry
by then, lost I would be found, the body
illuminating its treacherous caves,
what could be smuggled over life’s border.
(22 May 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander