ALACRÁN — SCORPION — CUT
My brother has a knife in his hand. He has decided to stab my father.
This could be a story from the Bible, if it wasn’t already a story about stars.
I weep alacranes — the scorpions clatter to the floor like yellow metallic scissors.
They land upside down on their backs and eyes, but writhe and flip to their segmented bellies.
My brother has forgotten to wear shoes again. My scorpions circle him, whip at his heels.
In them is what stings in me — it brings my brother to the ground.
He rises, still holding the knife. My father ran out of the house,
down the street, crying like a lamplighter — but nobody turned their lights on. It is dark.
The only light left is in the scorpions — there is a small light left in the knife too.
My brother now wants to give me the knife. Some might say, My brother wants to stab me.
He tries to pass it to me — like it is a good thing. Like, Don’t you want a little light in your belly?
Like the way Orion and Scorpius — across all that black night — pass the sun.
My brother loosens his mouth — between his teeth, throbbing red Antares.
One way to open a body to the stars, with a knife. One way to love a sister, help her bleed light.
— NATALIE DIAZ
go here to hear her read the poem: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/07/14/picture-poem-darkness-and-light/?ref=culture
Natalie Diaz – “Mariposa Nocturna”
Poet Of The Week
September 2–8, 2013 Natalie Diaz grew up in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia for several years, she completed her MFA in poetry and fiction at Old Dominion University. She has been awarded the Bread Loaf 2012 Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry, the 2012 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellowship, a 2012 Lannan Residency and the 2012 Lannan Literary Fellowship. Her first book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published in June 2012 by Copper Canyon Press. The winner of a 2013 Pushcart Prize, Diaz currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and directs a language revitalization program at Fort Mojave, her home reservation. There she works and teaches with the last Elder speakers of the Mojave language.”