Sarah Sophia Yanni

 

object study

 

ringlets ebb toward 
cloth. covered by
dust and beige-silk 
stains, eyes projecting 
story-scapes. undo
the purple wall. a
body fed is oil, scrubbed 
clean. I crave this. 

 

 

______

 

time traveler 

 

this is how I remember july:

            an old man’s chipped 

metal cart

 

boasting ice cream bins of guava

and piloncillo, that distinct

vanilla bean of yellow 

whipped with flecks of black

 

 

______

 

 

cough sweetness and I’m thrown to

 

dirt clouds tending abuelo’s land 

playing ten-body futbol

 

me and the 

cousins in 

a matching

row of overheating

            gap sweaters 



_____

 

 

and we were all afraid of the

granja’s empty hole, a mythical

 

orifice plagued by endless

superstition

 

somewhere, a donkey brayed then

            I was grown and the granja

 

was sold back 

 

 

 

_____

 

 

to airports, seated 

up and away ears plugged and heavy 

quick adjust to

california gravel and sun 

 

far from this kinship

a yearly confusion

 

melting any trace of tenacity 

            that may have been left 

            in my bones


_____

 

 

colima

 

            a child sees                   volcano sputter                                                and clouds 

                        of grey-black ash 

globular                                                           whole

                        to capture the sky                                would be          nice

             the child thinks                       

                                                a child thought                         to have             

staring at cotton                       eruption                       threats              as the car                                 shoots forward                        

                                                            over a bridge                lined    

with yellow poles                     the child counts the                             gaps

                                    thirty pipes                   blurring

                                                            like calcified                             striations 

fused together in         the flash 

                                                                        little does she know                 

this image        will linger in                 her memory                             arsenal  

                                                                                                            decades later    little     does she                       know               that soon    

the highway                             will become a 

                                                                                                forbidden space

            absent              bodies and siren                       echoes             

                        etched into the                                     mountain walls

 

 

 

_____

 

prophecy

 

i. christening

 

the oath of a 

daughter is 

 

signed in the 

womb and 

 

the lamb is

placed neatly 

 

in the crook 

of your elbow. 

 

her child 

stomach quickly 

 

learns the 

sensation of a 

 

knot. 

a counterfeit 

 

foot-cleanse,

bogged down by 

 

the altarpiece 

script reciting

 

its wants into 

the soft parts of 

 

her tendons. this 

is an aqueduct 

 

of miracles, an 

endless flow of roses. 

 

this feels like

forced emotion

 

coaxed into 

singing 

 

shoveled by a

golden spoon.

 

ii. epiphany

 

it is inevitable:

for a landscape

 

to be cracked up 

close. for a wave of

 

overthinking to

arrive and refract

 

the given 

meanings. she 

 

will hold the

crystal 

 

mouthpiece

in her hand

 

and declare a

truth: I like who

 

I am and who I 

have become.

 

a wild product

of anthills

 

and oak trees,

sad songs in 

 

the abdomen

and cola

 

afternoons. an

unknown 

 

creature in the

blue-black night, 

 

she averts the

judging gaze

 

and howls keenly

at the moon.

 

 

_____

 

 

 

cosmovisión

 

for leilah

 

the aja moment tugs      my chest to the      south       bound to 

a knowledge       that we have built       this is the cosmovisión       of two

sisters       an urge that        rises from skittish        premonition      like the ache

of a specific album      we both heard        at once though       miles         apart    

or the ache of       overlapping lucid dreams       staining       the gold-brown 

iris       that we share       this cosmovisión is a       spiritual thing        more     

powerful       than the offerings       we used to make on sundays      puncturing space       such as       the distance from        la to san diego coasting        on the amtrak surfliner       with the smell       of tangerine and        ocean       our black lashes bat       at the aja moment        and like divine      intervention        it cannot be      explained       a belief system belonging       only to us       as tongues translate  spurts of words into        wandering tales         a merciless history       we both know         the punch line to         how can I         explain        this linked condition        only by saying         that the        feeling        of your absence        is the feeling       of  loss       

the loss of something tender       and true      it is an honor to be     disappointments     together        not quite as        polished       as the elders         had planned       I am grateful         for the distance        bridged by mutual lack        of faith        and  

for this        multilingual spirit       that  keeps our beings close

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