Sunflowers Bloom in December
When the sunflowers bloom in December,
pomegranates split and hang from branches like stars.
The season is late, the figs have dried and fallen to dirt.
My grandmother now lives here like she belongs,
her face darkened and ripe.
My grandmother lives here as if she belongs,
a bougainvillea in full bloom.
Her thickened fingers point,
her voice speaking the language of the land
in the naming of things,
the words familiar and haunting,
swelling with adoration:
javelina, ocotillo, kumquat,
pinacate. She may say one word-
but mean many.
Like when we say “die,” we mean
let me lie under this sun and ask for entrance.
When the day goes dark,
I understand, grandmother, this is the place.
The stars explode in the body and still.
In the desert, everything dies.
Eventually, we find their black shells
and remember life’s brilliance.
We pocket the shells and say their names.