Embudo Variations — Winter

by Amalio Madueñ

I
Two kitchen lemons fused by blue green fuzz;
I hold the perfect citrus skin of one least rotten.

A distant raven sways aside Cerro del Rincón
Doubled in my sharp blue window panes.

The clean sound of water, the highway traffic upslope,
The rim of Mesa Prieta fastens me though I move.

It’s for you, the champurrado with chocolate & maiz
And this the music promised by the season arrived.

The names fall from your tongue: “buñuelos, capirotada,
Canela, piloncillo, aniz, miel virgen.”

II
Bosque path, ice crunching underfoot in leaf wreck,
here are shriveled frozen hongos sheltered in dross,

I cup your curled caps & crusted crowns
that musk up even in my cold gloved hands,

your gnarl of black stem dried and coiled,
infatuate, seeks only moist dark ground.

The departed souls of all the grasses,
Weeds, herbs, & reeds — galaxies snuffed out,

fallen seeds, husks & sepals embrace
in dark humus, exhausted of their magic.

III
During the early years wisdom was scarce.
We wrote our poems about anything we could find:

sibyls, stones, cracks in time, the temple steps,
poor home alleys or a lover’s belly.

The madness in us came & went in cadence
timed to say and keep saying the world is mind.

We saw the change, the slow explosion that is man
the river’s ride on gravel shallows whispering myth,

When the heavy blows came to level our work
we went out again to make bricks out of mud.