I met her as a child, her wild hair
like crow feathers and fire.
She ran through the battered woods,
she ran over the tattered leaves
in her back yard, crying,
“I want to be wet, I want to be wet!”
She collected pebbles
on the soles of her feet,
and dropped them one by one
into her cactus rain stick.
She wielded the stick against the sun,
like a witch’s staff, worn and wicked,
arms wide like the wings of Ziz.
Her words became thunder,
and wandered about the sky.
Her tongue cracked lightning,
blinding as the light of the sun.
She believed she was born
of a bastard universe,
where photons were demons of God,
oppressive kites from the sun.
She hated the light,
how it skewed her, revealed her.
Her shadow grew
a low cadence: the slow crawl
of the earth, the lulling growl
of an old, quondam home.
She would hear it
when she made love
She would answer,
a bay, then a whimper,