By Christian Garduno

Burnt Lace

It wasn’t music to dance to,
it was music to fall in love with someone in your room to,
to figure out what you were going to wear for them tomorrow,
music to spin to,
to lie down to,
to close your eyes to,
to escape inside,
it was music to float along to,
to wonder if it was ever going to kick in,
and then later, if it was ever going to wear off

Music to be infatuated with,
to crush on,
to obsess over,
to listen to over and over endlessly,
music to wonder what she’s doing right now,
to wonder what her room looks like,
to wander late-night with a walkman through your sleeping town,
and to remember seeing her by the lockers today

This was never music to dance to,
it’s music to fall in love with her every time you think of her again,
to fawn over her in the most nonchalant way, 
and how she touched your shoulder during lunch today,
music to walk by her house when you know she isn’t home,
no, no, what’s the opposite of dancing?
it was music to sigh along to,
most of all, 
it was music to think of her to

Ask a Dream

Ask a dream what it is to be a drop, ask a drop what its like
to be knocking down my door
Rattle the bats in my upside-down mind       
they have no problem translating what I find
Like a steady stream they weave around time      
and make the guerrilla in my heart start to swing from the branches of my arms
The insect on my foot is mistaking me for his universe
as flies buzz on my dead-weight and I lose grip & paper & pen slip
The cloud lightens the ruins of my Buddha mind
a new life awakens and erupts-
the animal skin on my shoulders as I climb safely up a tree
checking out the critters who aren’t suspecting me
Night-vision I share with the moon……down the tree +
into the water                      l e a v e m y t r a c k s f o r y o u t o s e e 
Understand what it is to understand
The caterpillar burrows beneath my first layer of skin
laying thoughts between my thoughts
This night has got me growling    			chasing rain
a change in the air            				the hunt is on
tread slowly but softly--            around the river           		an sniffin’ lowly
An animal cries and life becomes food for the living
red sun daylight and the surface of the ocean is basking in me now
the distance from heaven to earth
So closer I go to the ocean shore
deep onto the fringe where few of us survive
compressed by eons, my limestone eyes keep on striving
they wrassle and twist and hang on to the rocks
Holy underwater civilizations
one wave and I'm gone forever
There's a cobra in the temple
and all life on its path
Wilderness in my soul
here, now, my mind is


Body like a Rodin  
perfectly calm woman
Dancing and diving
driving the dream
and it really could go on forever
She holds the world
   from underneath  
And spins  

The Next Time

Next time we’re born,
how about we make out like bandits down on Bourbon Street,
and next time we meet,
let’s skip like firecrackers,
among the remains of the Berlin Wall

And the next time we fall,
let’s fall out about the place with joy,
like a cosmic girl & nature boy

And how about the next time we meet our maker,
let’s go together,
grin at all our silly sin,
and bring tears of laughter down
His face again.

Christian Garduno is the recipient of the 2019 national Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry. Garduno is a Finalist in the 2020-2021 Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Writing Contest. He lives and writes along the South Texas coast with his wonderful wife Nahemie and young son Dylan

One thought on “Burnt Lace and Other Poems

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