My Mother As A Keeper of the Treasures at La Purísima by Suzanne Roszak


Awake, you know the echoes of that sound.
Bright morning noise: a blanket for draping
over the side of night. Sway with the early
chanters, their half-human tones. Sway low
behind the junipers, the broadleaf trees.

Remember the old lecher in the field, by
the roadway, on the stairs. A whiff of teeth
and bile, fortunate hay-reels on the flight
from home. Now, in the rough gaslight, you
are belly-burst. Tin can of resolve to stay.

Slow, slow when you ring the mission bells.
Slow to climb; slow to fold the daytime
into your belt. Feed the relics with noise
now, grasping rope: heave and swing your
self under the weight of wood and stone.



Suzanne Roszak is an MFA student in poetry at the University of California, Irvine. Her poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Phoebe, Drunken Boat, Redivider, Fourteen Hills, and Verse Daily.