“Cutting Off Sources” by Carol Hamilton


She said there really is magic
still in Mexico.  Tibetans trance
into wisdom.  Gypsies tap into duende,
and the hordes of humanity
lifted voices with me
rising above the packed aisles
of the Patzcuaro cathedral, flowed
into the river of forever.
Swallows swooped our sleeping bags
as we awoke along the barbed wire
barrier to a Texas wheat field,
we tentless, under only sky.
Borders, fences, walls, good manners,
clean sheets, wooden floors
all covered with soft wooly
stuff, obstructions all.  The firepots
in the night gardens at Lake Titicaca
filled the air with smoke
as we descended back
through the museum coils
to visit the Aymaran fortune teller/
medicine man with his silver-backed
coca leaves.  Can I snake a passage
down into the brain stem?
Magic whispers below the scrubbings
with our safe disinfectants, so I wonder
how far can I descend, and I wonder,
is there a map for the way out?


Carol Hamilton has recent publications in Louisiana Review, Tribeca Poetry Review, Boston Literary Review, Iodine Poetry Review, Bluestem, I-70 Review, U.S.1 Worksheet, Colere, A Narrow Fellow, Lilliput, Flint Hills Review, Hubbub, Blue Unicorn, Sow’s Ear Poetry, District Lit and others. She has published seventeen books: children’s novels, legends and poetry, the latest SUCH DEATHS. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize.