No. Do not touch me.

Let me be.

Let me go on

as your rhinestone window lady.


When the Santa Anas blow

and your hammock

tangles in the trees,

I’ll still be here

at my window,

sweetmeats in taffeta.

As I raise the black nightshade,

my eyes will search

the pandemonium—

for you, perhaps.

Who can say.


I am marcescent.

I am mimosa in late season,

fading under neon.

My heart rolls with the tumbleweeds.

Rolls and grows thicker.

Slow roll in the clay dust.

My eyes, my heart

follow the funeral on its way

to bury Sadness.


A mananita!

Littorella sings it so sweetly

for her dark-eyed

fatherless daughter.

And you are there!

Wiping her eyes,

confetti in your hair.


I light a candle

and pull the shade.

You will not touch me,

lonesome one.


you’ll never touch me now.

[From the Along the Gulf series]

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