Life on the West Rim To the north, Sangre de Cristo peaks are white as doves. To the east, the Sandias gather in detail, shadows fanning out like wings to reveal age-old creases. To the south, the Manzanos are a pigeon-gray outline like the city down below, shrouded in morning haze. But to the west are volcanoes with names like Vulcan and JA, nearer, more endearing than the far-flung mountains. A gauzy gibbous moon hangs above the one called Bond, a lingering contrail in an otherwise empty sky. Outcrops of black rocks clutter trails beneath my boots, and with every step, all directions converge in me like sparrows to a feeder, my red heart centered.
Barometric Pressure That syncopated rain should make me glad, our first precipitation in three months. I’m pleased, but inconsistent drips are bad, irregular, arrhythmic, full affronts to sleep and sanity, water torture— at least for me. He sleeps through everything, remarks the morning after on how sure he was that I’d be fresh as a spring, not grumpy as a toad. You’d think he’d know by now my patterns. I know his—perky each morning, bright; while I’m still touch and go an hour past my first pot of coffee. He’s day, I’m night. He’s sun, I’m clouds. No doubt we both annoy the other out-and-out.
Escape starting with a Dickinson line (#508) I’m ceded. I’ve stopped being theirs. Now meeting dreams, not seeing theirs. Unfettered of iron shackles, I wasted life’s days fleeing theirs. Across the wide river I swim. Is my freedom foreseeing theirs? Out from shadows, into the light. My own god, refereeing theirs. In the clouds I soar from doctrine. Choice is mine; disagreeing, theirs. Sing the scars of my naked self. My truth: no guaranteeing theirs. (published in If You Can Hear This: Poems in Protest of an American Inauguration, Little Rock, AR: Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017)
Scott Wiggerman is the author of three books of poetry, Leaf and Beak: Sonnets, Presence, and Vegetables and Other Relationships; and the editor of several volumes, including Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry, Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, and Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems. Recent poems have appeared in A Quiet Courage, Naugatuck River Review, Red Earth Review, bosque, shuf, and Yellow Chair Review. He is an editor for Dos Gatos Press of Albuquerque, New Mexico.