Old Gus Remembers
I dreamed like Frida Kahlo.
My sons Augie and Stan were riding the pet deer,
their horns dancing, black eyes laughing up
at the wheel of purple sky
I, the father, dreamt of all the other elders,
buried in Mono along with the fish bones
and pupae drying in piles,
in their spheres of dirt and salt,
the blue waters of Mono.
Now I only remember in rings,
rings escaping outward
across the backs of hands,
so many blue bruises
if you read tree signs
you might know how old I am.
In the sunset, everything is gone–
my grandson Jimmy in ’67
(ice on the mountain);
the three Bandero boys, too,
one after another, smiling,
their final grins reflecting off the sheen of whisky,
vanished so long ago beneath desert scrub,
they are smoked ash scattered amongst the craters.
All my brothers and sons marching away,
ghost-gliding through tufa and sage.
I caress the backs of my bloodied hands,
veins coiled like rattlers,
my tongue back tied,
clacking the mourning song,