10.4 (Summer 2006)
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Stephanie SmithListen


Dream of Mending

Last night I dreamt a live horse fell to pieces,
slowly, from my arms to the dusty ground.

It was all clean breaks, a puzzle of marrow
and red, with a strain of the neck toward sky.

And he had the steam-white blaze of the stallion
I once wished for on pink candles and smoke.

But he was not mine. And soon I woke, worried
my dog was ill—connecting dane to horse

as usual. Yet he was, and your car broke down
on the way home from my place, that same night.

In another dream I might have grappled
with stirrups, reins and fled, moved like lightning

from vet to mechanic. Those broken haunches
mended like the finest liquid bronze.


St. Fiacre (Retablos)


Patron saint for gardens     cab drivers     tile
and box makers     Fiber optic flashes
of life     after     six seventy AD
Like comets just now burning out maybe
an inch     or light year     off Orion’s belt
With the touch of     spade to soil
Toppling bushes     mighty trees     digging trenches
You are a meteor     leaving craters to smoke
Like my mother once     moist gloves     in the garden


Morning glory     impatiens     four o’clocks
When younger     my favorite flowers
like the dresses I     even in school     had to wear
were showy     and dodge balls are drawn to lace
pink     hearts     and     white tights     like snails to beer
The front yard     was my Sunday school
Apse     the bed growing the strongest mint
Your ability to heal     better than or imbuing
the aloe planted at the foot of my steps


That plant will not grow its ring     as I’d hoped
around the umbrella tree     but instead
climbs up drain pipes     walks the steps.
When I look     I can see you     light streak
bundled     among     deeper     purple     leaves
And now     outside     the hands of God I planted
are cupped to catch the rain     drops gild the veins
feed the parched galaxy of summertime roots
fingertips poised as though about to dig     recreate


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