by Doug Anderson
They come across by light of cell phone,
by blood trail, by the gleam of the coyote’s incisor,
by the eye in the dollar’s pyramid.
They come across by dream light,
by firefly, by the phosphorous mariposa
headband of the screen goddess,
by the north star of the Mercedes hood ornament,
by the rustle of money like snakes
moving under leaves, by love light,
by the lizard’s slow eyelid.
They follow the bread crumb dope trail,
leave one witch’s oven for another,
take on the pelt of our fear.
We see them by slant in our gardens,
we un-imagine their burnt black fingers
on our strawberries, our oranges,
we push-pull them — yes to the labor,
no to the kiss. We want them to bathe}
and they want to ease themselves
down into the sweet cleansing waters
to be shriven of our sins.
We enter the shrine by the front door,
they by the rear. We fumble
for the candle and the match,
feel in the dark for the saint
and touch their broken hands reaching back.