Tiffany Midge, Standing Rock (Hunkpapa) Sioux.
The mollusk inching toward my door,
its body a broad wet muscle of rain and ascent
reminds me how all things are possible,
just as the rain foretells certainty
in a language of unquestionable voice.
I hear the night break, the moon
tossing back her hair. I hear the hum
of contentment shuddering in the grass.
The mollusk seeks direction, drinks
in the door’s pool of light, charts
a course for warmth, its horns
pivots of radar, exclamation points,
exquisite attachments puzzling out the smell
of water and storms. In the last twenty-four hours
there’ve been sloughs of visitors to this porch:
half-drowned spiders, stink bugs, furious horse-flies.
We’ve discarded them tenderly, others
mercifully tended and killed—unnamed shadows,
unmarked graves, wings and songs put to rest,
lunacies of want laid down. You turn in sleep,
then wake and tell me about tropical weddings
and masked brides, guests who only speak
the warbled tongue of sparrows, and fall back again—
dreaming your night stories, hosting the night visits,
each with its own small creature,
each with its own grand light.*
by Tiffany Midge