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/harrison candelaria fletcher

Origin Story

1.

/ Born of a man / who wore a white smock / behind a counter / with mortar and pestle / scales and tubes / mixing chemical compounds / to heal the afflicted / before his death / alone in his garage / with pollen and stems / grafting a lineage / bound by wounds. /

2.

/ Born of a woman / who drove into the desert / for the rust and shadow / of what might have been / or never actually was / the driftwood of memory / nailed to her walls / fragments of mirror / of mirage / of promise / a meadowlark piercing / a veil of wind. /

3.

/ Born of a land / on the vanishing point / of a green bowl valley / a broad blue mountain / a shallow brown river / coming up fast / in your rearview mirror / a high-beam reminder / how interstate stripes / never connect / no matter how many miles / driven between. /

4.

/ Born of a past / heavy in your pockets / stones from the llano / gathered like eggs / your mother beside you / warming the shells / to blossom with feathers / bright flames in her eyes / a double vision / you also see/ both of you reaching / to part the horizon. /

5.

/ Born of a prayer / the one prayer you know / olive-wood beads / tight to your chest / rubbed smooth rubbed raw / from over-working the words / all you don’t know / all you can’t say / if you just could get it right / the weight of silence / would slip from its chain. /

6.

/ Born of a state / a transitional process / straddling positions / on both sides of the line / ambivalent / contradictory / conflicting / confused / a stage of suffering / of expiating sin / half here / half there / half-made / half-whole / at / into / across. /

7.

/ Born of an absence / over your shoulder / under your bed / around a corner / misplacing your keys / losing a wallet / holding the smoke / where your father once stood / your mother once stood / you once stood / where one shape ends / another begins. /

8.

/ Born of a dream / of walking through walls / with shape-shifting skin / and X-Ray eyes / a comic book hero / 1,000 faces / a time-traveling trickster / exorcising demons / out-running ghosts / his secret power / embracing the distinction / of no distinctions at all. /

Harrison Candelaria Fletcher is the author of Presentimiento: A Life in Dreams and Descanso For My Father, as well as numerous lyric essays and prose poems

Illustration by Aliya Smith.

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