Paloma’s Church in America
Across the street a beautiful asian was burning. I took my sandals off. Seven times hotter the fire
remembered babies. And canals of babies burning it back. I took off your sandals, and your sandals,
too. Sometimes we waited for stone tablets. Most often we brewed what tea we could of the desert.
Silicate, mica, a mysterious formica. We drank and became practiced. We missed our mothers. Our
mothers couldn’t call. We called in dreams. We dreamed illnesses on our new bodies. The bodies
clung to covenants. The covenants, in turn, drove to scholarship. (Stewardship, pharmacists like to
say. Star Connection, my Tanenbaum makes to say.) So many babies, the asian said. Across the
street a beautiful iconoclast was burning. I do remember that dream more than all— that I did not
doubt. Your Honor, I saw the future.
“Paloma’s Church in America” was first published in Quarterly West.