Four poems by Carrie Moniz

Carrie Moniz

Carrie Moniz was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from San Diego State University. In 2009 she was awarded the Norma Sullivan Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Dr. Minas Savvas Endowed Fellowship for creative writers. Carrie's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Yellow Medicine Review, Third Wednesday, Suisun Valley Review, Corium Magazine, Web del Sol Review of Books, and numerous other journals and anthologies. She lives in San Diego, California and is a founding editor of The California Journal of Poetics. 

Year Two of Your Seven-Year Sentence: Midnight Ride to Yuma

Do you face the road? Did you see the lights
        approaching for miles?
 
Visitation was over hours ago. Guards in grey
towers, have me in their sights.
But I've got what I came for,
        nameless, quiet.
 
                            *
 
Of the windows, no bigger than a brick,
which looks out from your cell? Which sees
a woman walking from walls, lost
 
as a blind man in dunes? God and trains
keep finding their way
into her words. The cars are open to the canopy
 
which is the open sky.
 
A woman walking from prison
sees a spectacle of legs
walking from prisons for centuries.

 

 

 

Year Eight of Your Seven-Year Sentence: You leave for the night to gather your past

from a mountain-top storage locker where it's sat
for seven years. Asleep in our dust
I dream of birds-tail feathers damp and dragging. You
 
are driving a bus, besides the birds, all the back seats
are empty. We enter the desert like dogs
who've lost their fear of fire. A slurry of white
 
butterflies hardens on the windshield. Wipers
melt and pool. This is the way they took us, you say, in 8s
to spin us on our asses. We wind through the washes,
 
ground owls burst from their nests in succession. It was the same
on the inside-through doors and doors and halls. We tracked shadows
on the yard to know which way we were facing. We walk, digging
 
our heels in search of fresh water, find two stray apples
lying like breasts on the bare chest of geology. Everywhere,
a paralyzing shine. I wake in the motel room, alone,
 
to The place is surrounded! I pull your shirt on, flush the valium
and weed we stashed in the Bible drawer, and come out
with my hands on my head. The lot is empty, lit by the full moon
 
wiping her chin on the service station.

 

 

 

Year Two of Your Seven-Year Sentence: First Visitation

We stake an eight hour claim near the flameless lighter,
watch birds splash in the murk
of morning sprinklers. The air inside is cool
        but we sweat
the hundred and fourteen degrees to sit in the grass
and name muddy birds, sharing cigarette
after damp cigarette.
 
                            *
 
My cards say I underestimate my struggles.
I rely on them like skin.

 

 

 

Year Three of Your Seven-Year Sentence: Weekend of Non-Contact Visitation

Saturday
 
the cactus outside my motel window sags,
orange blossoms thicken the air with their sweetness
hard to breathe for the beauty of it,
                                             the heat.
 
 
Sunday
 
“Jesus and Wal-Mart Saves,” is emblazoned
on a plywood window. In the brittlebush
children stalk scorpions with black lights.
 
                                             Bless the fuck-ups
that carried us here. The history of wind
and fools. Bless this single bed, the citrus,
 
the Colorado, warm as blood. In this city we don't kill mosquitoes
we hum their carnivorous song. Year three and we are meat
 
mouthing through bulletproof windows.