Accardi, Millicent Borges
Men jackhammer the corner of Jilska and Mickalska,
disturbing the airís intonation. The exposed
sewer pipes, inches from open graves, lie like illness.
As we watch, morning beaten from bodies escapes
in a white whirl of cameos, sand, and milk.
Here, Rodina means nothing.
A skull, embedded in a dirt wall seems, for a moment,
as white and round as bread. Jaws, on metal stands,
tagged with numbers, wait for a turn to be whole again.
Here, dates are rounded to the nearest hundred.
Tarsals, femurs, ulna, open-pored
bones like coral, spinal cord beads
on strings, legs bowed, dried marrow
dark as tunnels, joints like fists, teeth.
Here, there are no pebbles of prayer left behind.
All is traffic, swollen construction, boroughs
and picture taking, stripping the cityís bark
blind with concrete.
Not what I want. So, leave this place
and take me where bones donít mean treasure, where the air is heavy, where graves
are planted like corn rows, and evening settles like water.
Take me where stones are full
enough for stones and death is a long rope
wrapped around kin I cannot have,
wisdom for the hungry, thumb-prints
for the innocent, tombs for generations.
Take me where memory makes my legs move.
Take me where moss holds language.
Take me where we have a name for the things we do.