Supposing that there was no reason for a distress and more likely for a
number, supposing that there was no astonishment, is it not necessary to
-Gertrude Stein, from Tender Buttons
Supposing you write with your left hand
Supposing you had O'Keefe's left hand
Supposing you felt left out
Supposing you left her
Supposing you moved to Ghost Ranch
and slept in the desert
awoke in astonishment
you slept supposing you left her
you awoke writing red
not a hurt color
not necessarily distress
but cold prickly pear
mingled with sleep.
Suppose it is not dangerous
suppose there is no desert
or red hills
or color at all.
Suppose the sky is desert after sandstorm,
jack rabbit clouds, chuckwalla shadow.
Suppose there is no such thing
as thirst or trees
holding their leaves
like cups awaiting the rain.
Markie Babbott's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Aurorean, CAIRN, Calyx:A Journal of Art and Literature By Women, literary mama, Mannequin Envy, Perigee: Publication for the Arts, Women.Period, (Spinsters Ink, 2008), The Women's Times: Pioneer Valley and Tupelo Press Poetry Project (12/09). Her chapbook, Sus Scrofa, won the 2008 Poets Corner Press. She lives and works in western Massachusetts.