weekend away
by t. zoEy benally

we disappeared into the garish depths
of the glittering world this weekend
waded-in the shallow end by Sandia Star
held our noses, wet our sweltering heads
predicted to be permanently overheated
lips parched and cracked by inaugural
greenhouse conditions, hatched in our
small desert, unwelcome visitor imposed

we continually pay for the televised world
so it's only fair that we be allowed in
mustard layers billowed out of ash stacks
under fluffy white emission disguise
ocher air, brimming with ozone, but not
the kind that would patch the hole
over antarctica or the rain forests
another people that pay for shiny lights

we wandered the malls, checked out excess
marked down, 75% off, unsold piles
of Christmas decorations, ornaments
dug from our hillsides, sucked from our land
hydrogen sulfide gas released, pooling
around hogans, corrals, dense black
poison earth flatulence, vented
excess cooled and washed with our water

we drove streets and admired houses
where families "do their part" in hopes of
"saving the earth," plastic containers sorted
cardboard allegedly recycled, relieving
them of guilt so they can swim Wal-mart
parking lots, silently tail pedestrians back to
their vehicles, dorsal fin poised prepared to attack
and claim a really close parking spot

we disappeared this weekend, watched television
took showers, flushed the toilet, washed our hands
and faces without leaving the warm hotel room
the floor was carpeted, no gritty sand duned along
window sills, a faux grass mat welcomed us

we disappeared for a weekend, but we are back
hooked up, rubber needles sunk again
into our arms, eternal plasma donors
funding the glittering world with our father,
mother, imprisoned by the gambler, pleasant
in his white marble pueblo in the east
oh, and he sent email while we were gone
to let us know he cut our medical care by 33%


where ever you are now--stay there
by t. zoEy benally

where ever you are now--stay there
eyes awash in liquid crystal display glow
stay, and answer that phone call like you always do
chatter happily with important colleagues
continue networking, power elbow rubs
stay, and pass a little more judgment on so called
team members, relax, gossip, plot, scheme and breathe

whatever you are now doing--keep at it
recklessly drive, speed, 70 MPH, your important
self toward that urgent email box, spewing
alerts like so much volcanic lava and ash
dial that cellphone, shift your eyes from the road
half mile inattention increments for each number
don't let my passing alter your activities

if you didn't give me petals from your heart
bouquets from your mind and soul
precious jewel minutes, intact, unfractured
if i wasn't important enough to merit
an answer to my emails, messages, questions
then keep your cheap plastic flowers
selfish tears, filled with your secret minerals

i am not needed where you are now
so when i am gone, remain there
continue to perch, vulture, on dried juniper
do not circle my empty corpse
once it has been abandoned by this spirit
my ebullient intellect, ideas, creativity, that you fear
stay in your tree, head hooked over pebble heart

i will have no need for your tardy tears
will not appreciate embellished stories
of times we never spent together, shared
i will not even acknowledge ATP expended
body moisture lost after i am dead
so where ever you are now, while i am here
stay there, when i am dead


by t. zoey benally

indian designs traverse box edges
sweet dust puffs from frayed corners
brown fibers possess boiled grits flavor
and when you tear taped seams, hollow
sounds vibrate through this conglomeration
of ninety degree angles