First Draft of “Northward”

Silver bells hang from yucca string, bashing
my ankles to be heard in the desert

Once we used palm nuts, and the hollow
thuds spoke of the oncoming drought

Shuffling, a dancer blooming in the night
The ringing joins the wind, a creosote dream

We have to use peyote buttons to connect
Our hearts with the dunes and dust

The bells sing out an ancient song, thrum
through the bones under the white sand

My pale moon body is sinking, wide hips
stuck between the currents of the world

Am I a spirit dancer, or a wild horse?
Blood pounds, running a trail of sweat

Down the map, where they split me open
and let my juices spill onto the tiled floor

Mutilated life disappears against the ink veil
Buried, trouble not yet reduced to sand

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