Hate gives all its reasons
as if they were terms for something more
I would do to you with a foot or a shovel.
There is a certain peace in hate, a clear mountain
that’s high with a whitewashed H
on its side which is all mine.
The road is circular and steep,
the stones roll onto it and the plants are
low and ground-hugging and often
appear to be dead. When I walk it
I am always surprised
at how the road drops off at the edge
and how the garbage of others, not mine,
stuns the land. The views are
enormous and belittle.
I would take you there,
I have already many times
thought about it but you are lazy
and ungenerous of yourself and your time.
The last stretch is the most tiring.
I have seen some people sprint of a sudden,
laughing like it’s a game. Not me.
It’s a long, ugly slog and the wind hits hard from
all sides once I clear the last corner.
At the top there are two things:
a telescope with a locked door
for all the scientists of hate, not me,
and an altar for the pilgrims,
which is wrecked and ugly, the silk flowers faded
and the votives filled with dust or water.

I saw a tarantula there, so lovely and slow
with her haired segments.
I saw a snake once, too, its rattle woke
the bottom of my brain.
How I hated that what she taught me.

Connie Voisine‘s recent book is Calle Florista. She lives and works in New Mexico.

*Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.