When You See Me


in some dream and don’t
believe your eyes
are closed, there
is a sure way to tell
if I am real.
Give me your hand.
You will feel the same
chill I feel when the sky
wants to open before
it starts to rain,
the chill a man who is about
to die finds in the cone
of the lily a girl cuts
to put on his grave.
She tries to wake him.
The anther smears its pollen
on the back of his wrist
where the scar doesn’t show.

The lines in his palm
spell out your name
except for the t
which is not crossed
and looks like the i
with no dot or like
the stem of the lily
now that the girl is gone.
The veins run parallel
to my life. Under the surface
roots form a sweet bulb
like those Shoshone women
dug with their camas sticks
and saved to roast
over tipi fires on cold nights
when their men had gone
to war or to follow
the west trail home.



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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X