Friday, January 23, 2009

Desire's Dog


I was desire's dog.
I ate when I was fed. I shit where I was told.
I knew how to sit, stand and roll over on command.
When I was petted, I was made whole.
Even when I dreamed, I dreamed a chain around my neck.
I lay at the feet of desire for years.
I died. Rats dug up my bones.
What was left disintegrated by rain and wind.
Still I followed desire, to the end.
Desire is a bone with traces of fat.
It's the wag smell of a bitch in heat.
It's that pinched flower at the end of a beat.
It's a stick thrown into a chase of rabbits.
I followed it out flat, to the other side of me.
I stood up. I took a breath.
I heard my name. It came from within.
I went down to the water.
I put on new clothes.
I walked free.
Then I heard this song, calling me.
It was a woman in a red dress,
It was a man with a gun in his hand.
It was a table filled with fruit and flowers.
It was a person of fire, another of stone.
It was the beginning. It was the end.

c Joy Harjo Honolulu, HI 1-3-2009

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