Mastodon Veil - Mia Hansford - Poetry - Sensitive Skin Magazine


In a little while I’ll let go of your hand but for
now I’ll rest it in the flashing blue-night dark,
in the lights cross the water and along the bridge’s
quiet: leather, radio, a nervous handler opening
the glove box, a more slender, brown hand
offering calm. Fingers flitter at the dial.
We’re under the bridge’s enormous
dove-white arching. I wonder if people
on the walking bridge can look down and see.
Do they see us see the night -it’s different shades
and blues, grey-white planes, spacious and curving
down and out, supporting the larger bridge.
We’re in a matrix of brightnesses, including stars.

And we listen to a heart and its doors -the river’s
swifting; tasting bits and snaps, tasting departure
like I’ve never heard it. We barely breathe; we
look; we don’t look. I’ve heard Jose’s story and
even read it a few times. I understand now
something about the stories. and melody.
songs not singable in the regular way.

Along and within the river’s music, half a dozen
artists illumine Santa Ana’s voices. Their skills
make me laugh. Listen closely; the story is awful
and should be told because it belongs to Jose.
It keeps moving like he does within a kind structure
and play. So much can happen to a body in this world.
I don’t know what allows him to tell the story so directly.
Maybe distance. This kind of thing takes time. Repetition.

The car and its music belong to so many; river, reel
and flow moving; moving distances tricky to understand
from here -oblique, elongated views of each bridge’s
x’s and verticals; blues so loaded they make their own
light in this dove-white expanse we’re under -the song
of all of it marking more than time and place on a map.

–Mia Hansford


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