Stirring : A Literary Collection

marina buckler


I cannot fly or make something appear in my hand,
I cannot make the heavens open or the leaves tremble,
I can live with myself, and I am amazed at myself, my love, my beauty

-Jimmy Santiago Baca


tell me how the night is
from where you stand,

where ever you are, in Havana,
was it?  or San Juan

you spoke of the windows there
in sepia tones, the bruises they left
on the fattest curve of your hip
the buildings they built up around you
& your words

tell me how the night is
from your place out side of me

& i will tell you of the thick browns
of the sky over my America
how the darkness floods with light,

how we swallow the water as if it were
thought, telling each other
things about youth,

swapping our sadness' like spit in a straw
that we share. i know,

you do not think of the world as portable; you
think it is more
than just a night: one night
lying with the soil & stars

jolting forward

but it some times hesitates,
the gravity, it is a train arching its back --

it could be that simple
exchange of earth, that little bit
of common dirt
crusted around our eyes.

tell me of Chile, tell me
the story of land mines,
prison bars, men who soften
cement with just
the sweat from their palms.
men who've had
their mouths turned in
side out with truths,
stuffed with bread & blood.

tell me of Santiago, Jimmy,
tell me of mountains,
tell me of the round browns
of skin lining the sidewalks
& how one pulls a blanket
from beneath one's self & still
ends up with hope,
with fountains full of sweet
nickels, cradles hushed by guns
& when you begin to say the words,

it was horrible,
begin again,
tell me of the naked knees of your lovers.

tell me what you say
when some one asks you
to tell them every thing.
tell me what there is left to say
after all of the silence, after
all the screaming bullets, revolution
& picket lines.  tell me
what you would say to a dying man
a man you loved, maybe
in times of war.  tell me how
you would give him your life, just to let his pain
leak out a bit & crust at the sides.

tell me of the time
you wept in the white of the corridor, weaving
hands through the bars of the hospital bed

how you felt more caged by sheets

than by church,
than by capitalism
than by patriotism.

tell me how to let a boy slip to sleep
tell me how to let him know,

the pain was not for no thing, the pain

for the sake of pain.

tell me how to learn
just by watching, i never understood

how to look past the hunger
for things.  i never understood
how to lose faith,
how to lose face.

teach me to doubt my self,

teach me how you listened hard
when women sang between your hipbones, i
love you, i love
you, i love you
but it was not until you paid
with your two front teeth, with your tongue,
with your breath, that it mattered
at all.

tell me how your mouth feels
when you stretch across midnight,
how your body becomes a bridge
& your ribs turn to wooden slats, & how
it feels to be crossed, spitting
& cursing & raising your fists to the city.

tell me how far you've gone,
just to be touched, across the border, across
so many borders,
just to feel the sand fuse with your hair,
just to see the sun in the cups of your hands.

Jimmy, tell me of the night,

tell me of the asteroids
burning through the atmosphere, tell me
how the light hurts your eyes,
how the land rang all the water from your body,
how you were a rag, a temple, a desert.


tell me of the night, Jimmy,
from where you stand, tell me of the night & i
will tell you of the day.

Date of Birth: 10/1/83
Location: Hollywood, Florida
Book: poetically correct

Stirring : A Literary Collection

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