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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 4: The Concept of Inhabitance

Linda Rodriguez

Through the Body
Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
                   —– Linda Hogan
Stop surrounding yourself with mirrors.
Turn them into windows.
Sink into a warm tub of lavender-scented water.
Count the creamy cups of magnolia blossoms.
Walk through a windy, crashing spring storm
that flashes light across the night sky
before every boom and blast of thunder.
Pick lemon balm and bruise the leaves
to fill the air with that quick, brisk scent.
Dip into homemade ice cream on a summer day
and let the rich, smooth chill slide down your throat.
We have been given all we need—
the tinkling of wind chimes brushed by a breeze,
a blue heron hunting in the shallows of a river bend pool,
spring air heavy with the sharp scent of rain to come as dark falls,
the salt of a lover’s skin,
the lightest silk sliding across the breast,
the chorus of chirps and whistles that fills the trees
as birds greet the slow color of the dawn,
the sun-warmed sweetness of wild berries,
a loved hand rubbing kinks from back or neck,
the licorice air above a patch of fennel,
the shadows of old trees that wrap around the body
like a comforting shawl.
There was never any fall.
It was only a rumor.
Daily we walk, insensible,
through the garden.
Linda Rodriguez is author of the Skeet Bannion mystery novels, Every Hidden Fear, Every Broken Trust, and Every Last Secret, and books of poetry, Skin Hunger and Heart’s Migration. Her work has received many awards, such as St. Martin’s/Malice Domestic Best First Novel, Latina Book Club Best Books 2014, Midwest Voices & Visions Award, Thorpe Menn Award, Ragdale and Macondo fellowships, among others. She is Chair of the AWP Indigenous/ Aboriginal American Writers Caucus.



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