We wait for word of Brother.
Doctor’s words. Then word comes, someone says, Brain Dead and we wait
again, for his passing into the next world.
My throat is paralyzed, strung
dry and tight. Night falls into morning, into afternoon. Then the pronouncement.
Grandmother must be told,
of Brother’s death, she tastes those words and
howls, punctures the morning clouds. Desert now blooms–
Her walnut skin sags, dampens. I see now–how much we carry, within us
how much liquid we keep, but
I want only to be bone. So I tell the hawks to eat me clean, marrow and all. Turn me
to carcass, leave no fat or tenderness behind because
when I return–from hospital, without you, I can’t eat or sleep. Fearing the aperture
of loss, I bite my lip tight, bloody it good. Until finally,
I come undone. I am an ocean, a sea
surge–that floods and floods,
I curl my knees to chest, and blanket myself. Hold on tight, to your empty bed, and still
Look into my eye,
into my core,
see how I pain
for you. These heaves
among this wreckage,
burnt and spent.
Casandra Lopez recently completed her MFA from the University of New Mexico. She has been selected as the 2013 Indigenous Writer in Residence at the School of advanced Research. Her work has appeared in various journals including High Desert Journal, Acentos Review, and Weber–Contemporary West.