He Would Follow Such Beauty
He thought about why he could not speak, his tongue
cut out so long ago he remembered it only as a plum
in his mouth, golden and fleshy, sentences like leaves
or hoof beats. He thought about thought and how
others must enter the soft sky of their thinking,
their thoughts the color of salamanders or streams.
His thoughts were transparent, black framed, edged
in obsidian chips, and then he was away on a prairie
that he had seen once or remembered from a book.
His eyes were silver and there was a wind unfolding
from the east with clouds threading through magpies.
He thought about elk, their cold hoof-breath,
their flanks like water, a calf bleating in a cave,
a wolf, suspended in mid-air, mouth wide open.
Arlene Naganawa’s publications include three chapbooks: The Ark and the Bear (Floating Bridge Press); The Scarecrow Bride (Red Bird Chapbooks); and Private Graveyard (Gribble Press). Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Calyx, Caketrain, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Washington 129, and others. Her poems have been featured on King County’s Poetry on Buses and she was the recipient of two literary artist awards from the Seattle Arts Commission.