I GIVE YOU TO RIVER
Turning to the water for release
from my troubles, from you,
I write your name in my palm with my finger,
then brush off the invisible letters
into the river currents passing at my feet.
I ask River to carry them out of my heart and mind,
carry them away from my life, remove all that darkness
that is you infesting my mind against my will,
replaying memories that were nothing
but playacting on your part,
though my heart tries to find excuses,
for all the deliberate pain.
I have to face it finally—there are none.
Hard to believe, but even harder to find
I still long for you.
This stubborn heart won’t give up.
So I barricade it, keep it safe from its stupid fidelity,
while I wait for River to carry out magic,
carry your name and games far from me,
set me free finally with the power of moving water,
my own inborn element,
which carves memories of trauma from the earth itself
and leaves wondrous scars.
Linda Rodriguez is a member of the Latino Writers Collective, founder/coordinator of the annual Kansas City Women Writers Reading Series, a founding board member of The Writers Place, and has published poetry and fiction in numerous literary magazines such as New Letters, New Letters on the Air, Plainswoman, The Kansas City Star, Wheelhouse Magazine, Writers Digest, and Z Miscellaneous, as well as several anthologies. Her chapbook, Skin Hunger (Potpourri Publications, 1995), was named by Michael Bugeja of Writer’s Digest as one of the four top poetry chapbooks of the year. She has also published numerous articles for general and scholarly publications, including three articles on Rudolfo Anaya’s work in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Hispanic Literature.
Rodriguez is the former Director of the UMKC Women’s Center and was a co-convenor of the Women and Environment Caucus at the United Nations international conference, Women 2000: Beijing Plus Five.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A River Runs Through Us Editor’s Note by Judith Roche Lyn Coffin Scott Ezell Sharon Doubiago Elizabeth Austen Kathleen Flenniken Christian Knoeller Lyn Lifshin David Berger Laura Bowers Foreman Sayantani Dasgupta Sibyl James Mary Swander Wendy Noritake Ann Spiers Kathleen Sweeney Brenda Peterson Dick Bakken Linda Rodriguez Michael Schein Carolyne Wright Angel Latterell Kristin Van Tassel Annie Finch Elizabeth Cunningham Cait Johnson Jack Hirschman Paul Nelson