for the late Betty Howe who sent a magazine containing an article on coma and after-death states which invoked some very personal
memories. This is very personal for me, and is a description of being in a five week coma. I am sure it is unique to me, and everyone who survives something like that will have their own unique experience. 1 An intense white light fills the surgical theater bloody gray matter in the patient's trepanned head pulses the gloved and masked surgeon probes and picks out pieces of skull sets them aside on a glass tray embedded helmet and gravel tossed into hazardous waste The surgeon works for hours jigsaw of skull pieces fitted together skin sutured back takes a deep breath and looks to heaven crosses himself knows he has done everything he can life or death wait in a different realm 2 A bright white light veins and arteries branch off float a corpuscle of light in blood An intense tropic light in a rain forest meadow scents of lush plants and fecund earth the intensity of multiple shades of green perfume of sweet red flowers permeates Thin translucent violet wings buzz crawl into the flower powder yourself with pollen Fly satiated to the emerald shade of a rubber tree trapped in oozing sap stuck forever in amber rain forest intensity of life 3 A corpuscle of violet light radiates from her eyes glows in an amber rain forest circles arms around her swollen pollen gray matter of our lips find one another can't wait to be born into her experience the intense light coming into the world through a birth canal rebirth in multiple shades of green with translucent wings flying into flowers movement in dream time zygote in an ovary 4 The orange fluid trickles down the throat impossible to move tubes and wires connected everywhere Better to dream go back to her the rain forest of her tongue pollen to wait forever in amber So hard to pull the tube out the nose stop the orange trickling the green zygote of dream the rain forest of nurses checking pulse and temperature making the sign of the cross and you want to leave 5 The ride home the world in dream time intense white light unmasked and un-gloved amber time a real world less real a corpuscle of light removal of tubes intense filaments of jungle vine those other worlds Ciénaca I ride lazy atop the mule Toby as he unravels a deer path we follow not knowing where we head the morning crisp in a cloudless sky A year with plenty of rain I watch golden grass shimmer on hillsides oak and mesquite meander along a creek bed gray/green juniper smile on ravine sides We come to a huge alamo overgrown with grapes swallows and wrens in full song a blue jay scolds at the intrusion Toby drinks his fill of water collected on a hollowed out boulder then grazes while I lean against the tree smile at the perfect wonder of the day Alpes-Côte d'Azur It looks to be a swatch of blue on the hillside Beside a path along a zigzag dirt road Boots kick up saffron dust Swallows and thrashers chatter A breeze blows in Mediterranean odor The vineyard awaits harvest Small purple sugared grapes covered by bees Yellow and purple caterpillars feast on leaves Riotous periwinkle and milkweed between vines Monarchs swarm to a cadence of cicada music Quick charcoal sketch to envision the scene In the studio the wine carefully vinted Saffron and mint season colors Small flower blues flavor the vision Pointed green leaves stretch for light Gnarled branches trellised and intertwined Dusty reds from the zigzag road savored Canvas fills with birdsong Smell of an afternoon rain on dry ground Charcoal smudged wineglass memory Keepsakes Aunt Emily died in a bright June daydream red cannas by the porch draw hummingbirds the house musty with lavender scented talc partially masked by sachets of dried flowers Lived by herself for forty-three years after Elmer passed no children to visit and mostly deaf read the works of Shakespeare and Yeats over and over out loud to herself etched them in her memory until it seemed she absorbed their wisdom quoting them at length to herself A cello case stands in her closet waits to be opened and taken out leather buckles dried and hard takes an oil soaking to free them The red mahogany slim and delicate as Emily strings totally slack and bow un-rosined I remember when she played the instrument between her legs blue eyes lost in a cloud of notes arm moving back and forth in time fingers straddling the neck a Mozart lullaby filling the house divine contentment etched on her face an ecstasy of music made hummingbirds stand still not wanting it aunctioned I take the cello Departure by Boat Cicadas throb the summer Mediterranean glows in magnetic blueness distilling the sky into water Somewhere out beyond the horizon lies Africa with all its wonder maintaining a tenuous grasp on one’s affections memories already refunding themselves into a hazy forgetfulness Behind one’s vision the scene changes a slow unreality grips the outlines of the past real humans cardboard cutouts inanimate objects as if their lives never existed So soon evening and the clear night sky dusted with the light of summer stars I look into the mirror of myself smoke an imagined pipe of sweet apricot scented tobacco give up on the life I lived have no desire to change it relive the good things in my mind passionate kisses in the dark even if the love turned out hollow A Patch of Green Papyrus reeds grow at the cienaca dreams of being made into paper writing words to describe talking with ancient ones who knew bundled into a boat sailing on imagination creating waters to give buoyancy cruising dream worlds of the divine something for deer to graze on Bio: Zachary Guadamour is a nominal blood letter of words and smuggles words with Latin roots into English. He lives nine blocks from the Mexican border in The State of Disbelief. In Los Estados Estupidos. He had the good fortune to study poetry writing with Richard Shelton, Steve Orlen and Peter Wild.