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Tiny Clay Doll with No Arms

Ray Gonzalez
Given to me by my sister as a gift,
the tiny Indian doll stands with no arms.

Given to me so I can raise my hands 
and stop the world from coming closer.

Something has been taken from here--
a day when reaching out was death.

Something lost
with my own hands.

The doll stands three inches tall, 
its brown head wrapped in a red scarf.

No arms, as if I could look at a body 
and not welcome it back.

As if I knew what happened
to my grip on those things.

The clay doll stands on my bookshe1f.
It stares out the window.

It does not have any arms.
I don't know why it was carved that way,

don't know what it means,
why the invisible palms hold everything.

When I touch it with a fingertip,
it leans against a book.

It does not fall.
When I set it back

on its bare feet,
I carefully use both hands.

Reprinted from The Hawk Temple at Tierra Grande, with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2001 by Ray Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Reprinted from The Hawk Temple at Tierra Grande, with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2001 by Ray Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Ray Gonzalez

by this poet

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According to scientists, astronauts get taller when they are in space and in Albania, nodding your head means "no" and shaking your head means "yes." This says I am going to disappear and become a parrot, sitting on my perch in some strange woman's living room, ready to imitate everything she has to say to her

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I see the unwritten books, the unrecorded experiments, the unpainted pictures, the interrupted lives, a staircase leading to a guarantee, the glowing frame of wisdom protecting me from harm after I escape the questions of a lifetime. I see the turning of the pages in a book I have not read, its story proclaiming