this poem is supposed to be in very long lines...but the formatting didn't take to it well.
This valley also lends itself
to the sort of performance
the girls would put on in the tall cedar theatre
just behind their closet doors. Or
in winter time the plays lit up against
the kitchen wall, some parts lost against
the window dull from frost and bittered branches.
Solemn they hanged their heads shrouded
in veils and tasseled dish cloth, being
the crying women in desert processionals
flailing their skinny arms and elbows toward
the ceiling and windows and slinking
their covered hip bones in secret rhythmic circles.
Look how she crumples her fingers
to make deers with antlers she says move slowly
in their grasses and take careful steps
through parts with snow. We watch the other
covered in a sheet hunched like a hungry mule
across a desert with small knees and paper
hooves. We close our eyes to commission
the sounds of the other scene performed
behind a door closed upstairs, a chorus of falling
glass, shards against the hard wood
are the rains the smaller one prayed for
on the fourth and driest night when the sand filled
her lungs and her sister made the sound
of the mule’s dry throat from under the table.
with their knees on the tile, they stretch
their shoulders to feel their mirage happen
in their sweaty palms and move their cheeks
closer to the scented water. The painted paper
shudders as her thirsty beast bends to drink from
the water on the floor.Know that they do this in silence.
That their silence mutters the divisive orchestra
they have disowned. That sometimes
they are those sulky wandering queens in a kingdom of rock.