I Get Found, 1974
My beloved was born with a pebble in his hand,
a red stone burning.
He dropped it in the moment
between the womb and the catching,
the landing in hands,
twisted down for just a blink
and let it go.
Still gleaming from the blanket
of beyond, woven thick with invisible threads
it melted a hole in that sea-green marble
Rajasthani hospital floor
Melted down through the street like butter
water and soil,
the heavy metal fishbowl
at the center of the earth.
Then granite, granite,
flint and feldspar
aquifer and dirt again.
It burst up through the thin red-white cotton
of their Rocky Mountain picnic blanket
and sailed five feet in the air before gravity
caught it, sent it
tumbling back down
through my mother’s hippie hair.
It landed like a flower in her lap
And I was born with a pebble
in my hand.
I Found a Pair of Hands Digging in the Garden
I found a pair of hands digging in the garden. They fit quite better
than mine, and I have been wearing them ever since.
I found the ears in the mountains, abandoned by a stream, clean
and hollow and ready.
The belly started small. It came right to my doorstep, dropped
bleeding at my feet by the preening cat.
And who knows better than you where eyes come from? But I
found these hiding in the lilac bush in the rain, wedged between trembling
fingers and hearts. Now I can even see ultraviolet. No, not really.
As soon as I find some string
I will finish it
and tie them all together
but for now
I will keep on
I found a teacup digging in the garden. When I tried to empty it, I found a tiny woman swimming through the soil, living like a worm in the little round room.
I thumbed across the surface and her head and neck emerged. She was smooth and translucent, eyeless, earless, diving out of the dirt and back in again like a dolphin. I picked her up by the scruff
and held her inches from my face but
she remained unaware, squirming, singing, moaning. I wanted to
take her home
keep her in the windowsill and make her happier
plant some coriander for her like trees or even
make her a new place out of a shoebox, with just an inch of soil
and a little raisin box for a flat screen TV.
I won’t make her a bed, I thought,
she will always prefer to sleep in the dirt
and then I let her go.
I found a magic ring digging in the garden, made of diamonds and gold and rubies and plastic. I slipped it on my finger. I didn’t know what its powers were. Then my ears grew longer and longer like pink ribbons
my fingernails grew in spirals
my eyes turned inside out and I remembered
it was mine all along. Remembering is its first power.
I found the alley cat digging in the garden, biting at the beets and scratching at the soil. She has no tail. She is sharper and faster than the housecats. I have heard her fight in the alley; I have seen her sit still and silent in the dead tree like an old crow. She has never belonged to anybody but herself.
She froze when she saw me; she has been in our yard before and you can’t surprise her. I backed away slowly, gently so as not to spook her. I opened and closed the screen door in slow motion and fetched a dish of cream for her, like I have done before. When I got back she took one look at me and the cream and bolted over the six-foot fence in a single bound, like she has done before.
I found a key digging in the garden, rusted with a red ribbon decomposing around its neck. I fancied that it did not fall out of a pocket by accident. I fancied that it was the back door key of a Lover who had been Lost. I rubbed it with my thumb and the metal was cold and some of the sadness came off on my skin. I felt privileged and ashamed, like I had seen someone naked by accident. I mumbled some magic words and buried it back in the garden.
I found a pair of eyes in the garden, dripping wet in the evening rain. They were wedged between the trembling lavender fingers and hearts of the lilac bush, shaking like a vibrato in the downpour, optic nerves clinging to the smallest branches.
Even with the dangling capillaries
blood clots and blind spots I
knew they could be saved if I tried my best I
lifted them, cooed to them, cuddled them and coddled them
between my breasts like a goddess
and they rolled around in my gorgeous mess,
tangled in the blanket of my hair, my heartbeat
strong and fair and able
And the crying stopped, and the shivering, and the panic in the
pupils faded out into the night
I made them eyelashes from grass
I gave them a home in my dress
and they have helped me