Ariel Fintushel

AT THE FRONTIER

My motto, don’t accept someone else’s rules.
More plant than woman, I make a big gesture and could fail.
At the frontier of my capability, grappling with what frightens me:
orange cacti, mirages, flash floods. Volatile nastiness
of river rats in a river gone dry where skulls and crossbones
mark saloon doors and open prairie.
Women, break the manmade laws! I ask for permission as I trespass
or extend my perianth, choosing to receive.

BRIGHT SWEATER IN THE DESERT

A bug scrams over my comforter to the floor.
I experience fear but wear a sweater with colors
you don’t get in the desert.
Downward movement, how a turtle pees itself
at higher elevations,
and homesteads are nervous with broken glass.
Sun, put your hand on my knee.
Cahuilla believe giant rocks were human.
I see a head thick as Frankenstein’s
and red clay boots I could remove, am I right,
desiring more than I should?

SEEKING COUNTERPOINT

The nature observer’s unnatural erosion in the presence of others
Cities pleading from distances mountains belittle always
Logs having to burn to speak
Facts in uninvited narratives derive each other
Leaders enumerating from imagined consistency
Relaxed edges seeking counterpoint
Foraging without form to confront a reactionary impulse –

a murderous inclination
brings me here