Landscape with Refusal

Rodney Gómez

         after Laura Aguilar, Grounded #111, 2006/2016

slowly I let the owl escape

          and after the owl light

that would fill the body

          in place of pain

a cotton knuckle

          fills a peacock’s house

its bright plumage

          frozen in place

          in lieu of skin

ash that sparks

          when a guitar is too mournfully held

in place of muscle

          warmth of desert floor

rock loving rock but not demise

          nothing dark

in place of the fist

          that animates

a slab too stubborn

          to be rolled away

a bolt is built

          into its skull

and so it stays shut

          no one, nobody, goes there

without a blessing to offer


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