A History

by Jade McLellan

There, in the ashes, a bone of yew, birch-skinned, bound in flax.
Powdery palms cup to gather thunder and snow. The sea’s eyes track
willful footprints, blanched runes scratching a poetry in fecund mud
of a bear, drunk, who sleeps; of a blind god speaking honey and blood.

There, in the smoke curls a whispered litany of bolillos, beans,
filling wide nostrils, obscuring the women who wait to be seen.
The mesas press their clay soles to the turquoise sky and run –
a coyote is laughing: moonlit braids unbound, undone.

Here in the fire, a twist of mesquite dances, toes splayed, stoking
a cauldron of fresh goat’s milk and crushed ants. The river chokes
on offerings of copal, ochre, tarot cards. My sacred heart yet burns
with the love of a black cat; thorny joints crackle with yearning.

Once dreaming, the souls wake, inflamed, are free to seek and to part—
but singing, are recalled; tongues weave a root, reunite in one hearth.