liz deschenes
tricia collins
steven severance
tom rayfiel
paul graham
tricia collins: three poets 1998

Enrique Martinez Celaya

Your Hand

I took the burden of your hand.
It is true that you might need it.
It is also true that I didn't ask.
Moreover, I do not know what to do
with it now.
A hand is, well, so inconvenient
of a keep.
Just so seductive to play with its
figers without you.
I enjoying its marvel,
mechanically perfect and perpetually
Its motion,my motions
its gesture, my dream.

At first it bled very much.
On this end of things I
used a towel.
I rinsed it a few times and
then I put it in a plaster box.
I never know what to do
after I play with it.
Something like guilt takes me
I want to play with it
all the time to justify
me having it.
I put rings on it
because it makes me feel that I care.
I sometimes feel that it is
a bit indulgent.
That maybe it was more valuable
to you.
That maybe I
acted impulsively.
That I took that axe
and satisfied but a petty inkling
to have my own hand of yours.

When I feel this, I slip
my own hand up my sleeve and
hold yours
pretending it is my own.
Then, I extend my arm
and beg for some change using your palm.
This gives everything purpose.

The River

The river
is never the river.
The carved soil
is the river.
The delta of the river
is the explanation of the mountain.
The mouth of air.
The river gives reason
to my walk.
The river refreshes
the birds and supports
the animals.
The river makes
the green of the mountain
and it has clouds
and blue like the sky.
The river is the window
in the room of this valley.
The river is my hope.
The end of my journey.
The river took you,
your white arm it seduced.
The river is my rival,
my judge.
The river is the future.
It invites me to swim
to breathe and to rest.
The river is a burglar,
a keeper of treasures.
The river is an indian giver.
A trader in skins.
A water seller.
The river is not
the river.
The river,open mouth
of this green,
lungs of my life,
gash of heaven in this soil,
is the keeper of your arm.
The river is you.
I tried not to see it.

I am empty of words
empty of images
I seem to only remember
my stomache, my memories,
my body
the latter not even well.
But I am planning
for missions that I will never
take on.
For retreats too
humiliating to live with.

I am planning memories
for the future
that I will never have
but that indulge me in planning.
I am dismantling events
that I know to have been
to make new ones.
I am making philosophies
that teach me to live,
but I am doing all these
lazily, unfocused as if it
wasn't about me,
as if my life
was only words and images.