From “Dissolve”

On limbs of slanted light
painted with my mind’s skin color,
I step upon black braids,
oil-drenched, worming
from last month’s orphaned mouth.

Winged with burning — 
I ferry them
                from my filmed eyes, wheezing.

Scalp blood in my footprints — 
my buckskin pouch filling
                with photographed sand.

No language but its rind
                crackling in the past tense.

Tearing apart cloud names — 
pierced fog commands:
douse the inferno’s ribs
with opaque forgetting;
clip dawn from the book’s dusk,
unfasten the song’s empty auditorium
                over a garden of mute foals.

Tearing apart fog names — 
pierced cloud sings:
let them shriek from their hinges,
let them slice their gills open
with flint knives
and circle their ghosts
as frog-skinned antelope,
let them drag their legs over a trail
anchored to a ladder
that has soaked up blood
since land began crawling out of anthills.

Slipping into free fall,
we drip-pattern: the somewhere parts,
our shoulders dissolving
                                                in somewhere mud.

The arcing sun whistles
across the mask’s abalone brow,
its blurring pouts into a forest
chirping from a lake’s bite marks
stamped vertically on this map’s windowsill.

Kneeling our thoughts on ellipses
evaporating from ollas of fragrant wet clay — 
we saddle the drowning’s slippery rim.

More Poems by Sherwin Bitsui