“Granite”

Kate Tracy smiles with one of the young girls she helped build a home for.
Photo by Jess Bruggeman

What we use to grace our countertops beckons me to enter through a Spartan legend.
I stare at the plot of dirt, the perimeter of my kitchen, and glance back at the path through towering granite boulders.
I can see the border wall in the desert hills.
Dust from the soccer field below billows with joy like the girl in Christmas colors with the strong kick.

Let’s check the rhythm in our hands.

hammer
nail
shovel
scoop gravel
saw wood
carry lumber
don’t fall down the steep granite cracks.
Chase the chicken out of the outhouse.

Let’s check the rhythm in our feet.

Walk past the bleating goats, step on the avocado peels, avoid the dogs with fleas.
Hurry to supply the man with stucco.

Let’s check the rhythm in our nose.

The granite smells of laundry on its slabs, always work,
except when buses to Guadalajara break down.
We smell like sweat, like the dust of granite.

 Let’s check the rhythm in our teeth.

But teeth don’t know how to say “Ricardo.”
If I smile with my teeth, will they know?

 Let’s check the rhythm in our eyes.

Can eyes see between cracks in the granite
where the sewer runs,
or where cousins never separate?
Can eyes straddle the border wall between a giving and receiving?

I stand in awe as The body, not my body, urges me through the granite boulders.