Stairwell, Rio Road
By Lisa Russ Spaar
All winter the doomed house held
in a stranglehold of dozers,
rigs, and wrecking balls,
sinuses of private hallways
exposed as facades fell, then roof,
sleet insulating skulled chapels of the attic;
joists, wallboard, tiled cavities of tub
and basin all collapsing week by week.
But not this aortic staircase,
via negativa flanked by crimson panels,
opening my chest each morning
as I drove past its futile climbing,
its bezeled taboo wound.
My own houseless heart jolted,
recovering, and I'd grapple with the radio
as the windshield wipers ticked
and wooshed, singing disappear,
appear, now a blotting slurry of ice
and snowmelt; now clear.
Now gone; now still here.
By Joy Harjo
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear
Can't know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done