POET TO NOTICE: LISA DAY

We are pleased to present our next Poet to Notice: LISA DAY
This is a wonderful New Mexican poet. We are thrilled to be able to present her work here. Hopefully you enjoy these six untitled poems as much as we did:

▪️

calmly i look down and see myself low as you could go slow as
light seeping under
a door

i bow to sleep and color
shapes enigmas frogsong
they scoop me into their center and together we live
not selfishly or excludingly
in the pagan arroyo
behind the house under the waxing mormon
tea bush

there was a time i wanted to be you
the lizards and jackrabbits keep this to themselves.

▪️

EVERY COIN WASHES CLEAN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WELL
july twenty eight
you shattered all illusions

you jerked them off my face in a dry
riverbed tossed my rosy glasses
i kissed my minced
heartflesh twice
ground the
lenses
into fine desert sand
where i buried you

later i dug everything up
renamed it and stirred it
into my hot morning

tea
with honey

can you feel the passion of your indian summer staining every step?

i had my daughter take a picture of me that day
so i could feed the swollen-eyed ghosts
whenever i felt their hot current

struggling
beneath my breath.

▪️

this just surfaced in my heart a foreigner and recluse
so i vowed to write it down in my native
tongue

my last lover short-lived as he was
was neither short nor tall and left
when i had my hardest time
he rearranged his
priorities until
i wasn’t

this is how i understand love
after sixty star-pale mother flesh
years you
teach your eyes
to bless all they see
exchange water for air fire
for earth and never sit until time
tricks you into your own deep embrace

late seasons and all-surrounding grace coordinate as birdwings

i never meant to be alone forever i don’t know what i meant
thinking too much as a child alone in a cactus
garden
that belonged to someone else
about the lives of royalty
faraway places
ugly unfeathered things falling from the sky settling
on pitiless sidewalks
a tiny finger placed softly
upon each heart until
it stopped

when i heard the cry
of doves i knew
i was alone in a desert

nothing is more fully served
the impetuous heart
and nothing has changed
at all

▪️

i trace the rivers
because i am right
handed most of my tributaries
are on the left
hand dug
a brown recluse ran fangs through my middle finger 48 hours ago and i’m waiting for it to fall off

manual labor
true labor of love
the trail of water is white
upon my pale skin
this is what happens when you’re two
four
and sixty

my eyes won’t shut

i’ve known men who can hear the stories
but none who can live with the consequences
because there are some

one is i don’t know if i can still live
here
but it’s home
my body is
home to
me
the falling apart house though
the see through blinds
old cholla laid out
sexy on a bed
of sand to
rot

a forgotten neighborhood built
by elders now crumpled
under kmart quilts
in rest homes

jesus
my finger is throbbing and i cannot watch
another
telenovela tonight

▪️

rolled my window down
hollered is there still a cat under my car
the woman across the street just
stared as she pulled
a lighter from under
her belly and lit a cigarette
i never saw her lips move except to take a drag
as she said
just left

▪️

everything is nothing and god
is alone this way you hold more and feed
the magnetic parsing of the dialectic soul under
a triple eclipse’s simple moon mantra. cloud-water
obscures but it is also helpful. look deeply into it and you will
see no one is ahead nor are they behind. the myth is we all dream naked when everything silent begins
to whisper. the truth is we have
forgotten to listen.

~

~

Lisa Day, willow.moon on Instagram, is a grandmother moonlighting as freelance photographer in Southern New Mexico. She was once a clerk for the Institute of Historical Survey and sold Birkenstocks until her boss retired. She sang professionally back when her hair was still auburn and still writes when she feels the most.

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