Remembering water; In your death dream
By: Thomas Sepulveda
The months of rain have ended. I remember
I am supposed to water
the yard, I remember you in
the garden, kneeling amid geraniums
and roses, pulling weeds. Now,
the jasmine has dried, leaves
browning at the edges, curling
like an arthritic hand.
In the patio, the hose is cracked
from disuse. The fuchsias drying
How easy it is
to let go of anger, lying
on the couch, listening
to mockingbirds, robins, a scrub jay
perched in the front yard juniper. A late afternoon
breeze pushes warm air into the room,
heavy with mist from the neighbor’s sprinkler.
How easy it is to sleep, lulled
by the steady drone of the neighbor
wasting water. The sound of you
working with a trowel, the breathy,
constant tearing of soil,
would have finished the trick.
Years ago, I found a palm spring
while hiking in the desert.
I left you sleeping in the tent
under the fading morning stars,
light spreading gray across the sky like fog.
In the growing daylight,
I drank. Footprints of deer, coyote,
and cactus mice dotted the sand. I believed
I could imagine the world
What the world became was a yard
full of foxtail and thistle.
I am in this empty bed, linen
cool as your skin, like the water
I remember drinking.
In your death dream
An homage to Richard Hugo
You are in a bed in an apartment
you don’t recognize. The way light streams in
you think it’s morning, but someone
is cooking dinner and you know it’s late.
You enter the kitchen, and your first
child is trying to get cookies from a jar.
You know he’s older now, but help him
anyway. You are hiking in snow
and the trees droop like an honor
guard bowing. A light casts long
shadows and a woman calls, loud
in the tinnitus of quiet. You find a cabin,
and you are in bed, the love of your life
gasping astride you. Outside,
your mother says it is time to go.
You are a child, at the duck pond
your father loved, and everyone is gone.
You are lost amid duck down
floating on the wind, dappled in sunlight.
Tom Sepulveda is a nonbinary Chilean-American poet. Their work has appeared in the San Joaquin Review and Santa Clara Review, and more recently Wild Roof Journal and Kissing Dynamite. They hold an MFA from Fresno State. They currently work at a newspaper in California, and after decades in journalism are finally getting around to finishing that first book of poems.