Friday, April 27, 2012

Audrey Allen

Pockets Full of Dried Leaves

“You haven’t lived long enough to be an Indian,” he said, blowing smoke up to the moon, ash gray face. Cottonwood sky.

He walked over and touched the bark of the old tree. One foot heavier than the other. Something clicking like a shackle around his right ankle. “You know,” he continued, “they cuffed the elephant. They cuffed him and strung him up to die, hung by the neck.”

He blew more smoke out. Lips white on the pipe. “Look in your pockets,” he said. And I looked – dug my hands in and felt brittle paper. I turned my pockets inside out to see, to see what was there. Nothing but dry leaves, brown and red.

Sway Sway Sway goes the old tree.

Branches gathering snow. Icicles sharp as knives and that snapping sound they made gathering up shape and force before smashing into the ground. Dirt like death now that the elephants are here. And he reached over and picked up his own mother’s heart. The part she left him. The old black core, cold in his brown hand. Lines leading to the vein. I am her. I am her. Where was she? Where was she? He stretched out his arms high to the sky and tried to hold onto something but nothing was there.

I have nothing.

I have no one.

I am here.

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