In the Mountains

By | 1 May 2020
No hay exterior del cuerpo. O mejor dicho,
el exterior ocurre dentro del cuerpo

— Juan Sebastián Cárdenas

If the April dog-days reach her before your note does

If at your back door, a mushroom speckled with roving mites
turns the color of rodent teeth

Then her thighs will tremble, her head go light as she tries to stand

If her irises flare, if your collied face stares back from her pupils dull as a writ

Then you must submit to the sensation of being cored

If you take another sip of dust, trying to remember what to say

If the sludge she calls your sadness stops gungeing-up your veins

Could she glimpse what was there before you turned inside yourself?

If the regrets edge up behind you chattering

Then she will blindfold you saying: taste this

If it takes just one more crossed-out name to complete the bitterness

If ululations rising from the hills are answered in her face

Then whatever you gasp while she lies over you will sound like nonsense from a play

If you reflexively choose the first response that precludes thinking

Then she will cry out Oh no as though surprised she can’t stop it

If the Western Ghats swallow a carbonized sun

If she mistakes that tic at your eye’s crease for a signal

If when she sets the basket on the counter, the ripest mango topples from the peak

You must forget how many hands have tugged open her robe

If local animals make themselves nocturnal to avoid you, if swarms of laughing
thrushes no longer descend from the summit

Then the barest gleam from her eyes in the dark room will reel you in

But if this orange lichen— gossiping across boulders— blackens, curls, and goes


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