That night, my heart like drumbeats. Your heart , like Winter glass, clear frost-rime-fragile. Delicate, strong, precious frost on my heart; the beat slows. Winter: Death of nature. Death of our love. Yet still, somehow we carry on. Never knowing how strong we had to be, until we were there, facing this, our own stopping of the heart. My heart, held in the hand of an Inca lord, who reached into my chest, in the midst of an ayahuasca vision. My head fell back as I sunk more deeply into the vision. My heart glowed in his hand -swollen with love. Exhausted, long week, will it get better? Not anytime soon. Floorboards creak beneath the calloused feet & lights flicker above a war torn head. Mango juice drips down my hands on hilltop highs as fight to get the spills sweetness on my tongue. Strawberries on my knees, memories blooming as I feast, childhood romps in green grass, grubby hands holding blood-red berries. Ravenous, some might say, but I do not see it that way. I should not apologize for what others have had in their time. So devour, if it pleases, Mango on the lips. Sweetness on the mind. In this community– we share, we support, we cheer each other on.
Exquisite corpse: (from the French term cadavre exquis), A method by which a collection of words or images are collectively assembled. I collected these poems as I traveled through Kansas. These poems are written collectively by Kansans at readings, open mics and workshops. The titles of each poem are the locations and dates where they were assembled. They are part of Exquisite Kansas, a collection to be published at the end of my laureateship.