Blog Post / Fall 2016 / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2016 / Volume 47

CASA de la LUZ–Krikor Der Hohannesian

Nothing more could be done, so
on a bright desert morning they came.

Your home, existential oasis, where
you intended to stay to the very last,
the trailer with its “gate to nowhere”, plunked
amid the saguaro, prickly pear and tumbleweed,
where never again would you lay your head
under star-studded nights. Where feral cats
would not find supper put out at six sharp,
the marijuana patch would wither of thirst
and the four vintage Volkswagens begin to rust
in the desert dust – Tobacco Road in Arizona.
Kerouac, favored apostle, would have bowed –
On the road, morphine and ativan,
the final leg – Casa de la Luz,

House of Light, adobe and terra cotta,
angelic statuary beaded in turquoise,
the last way station before road-less eternity.
Down to a few days, the sleep of the dying,
sister and long-lost son on vigil –
chanting, waiting. Clear Light Lady said

“follow the breath, breathe with him,
bathe him in a boundless ocean of light,
when you hear the change it will be hours –
do not hold his hand then, he needs to let go”

On the fifth night I dreamt of a bird,
white as alabaster, paragon of grace
winging off into a night sky –
disappearing into indigo. Pre-dawn,
your in-breath shallower,
the exhale raspy and guttural,
halting. Sun-up, three loud breaths, then
silence, a settled hush, a wisp of a breeze
flutters the curtains. You, unfettered,
a fresh memory stripped of its flesh.

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