a stalk of artichoke stands in a clear vase
filled just below halfway
paired with sprigs of eucalyptus
waiting for the face of some god to speak from it
to say, it’s alright darling
the vase sits on this table I’ve attempted to
refurbish once before
to cover the deep, nervous nail marks of my childhood dog
as she pressed her holy-spirited paws against
to find me
clawing her way through
the glossy cherry finish
I do this too
clawing closer to forgiveness
When rabbits appeared
in a sample of printed tapestry
I knew he had come to visit.
I tore their prints from glossy pages
and patched them
onto paper to save the moment.
Ode to honor love lost.
Before he died he chased a jackrabbit
not one ounce of care in the world
his only concern to sink his teeth into fresh fur
to run away from me and into the woods.
My wild canine son.
Since he died, I haven’t gone to the woods.
Maybe I’ll find him there:
a collection of fur from small animals
him living amongst the blue, soft soil.
My love a constant wind
keeping him warm at night.
The Greatest Brute is Grief
In a steaming cup of her favorite earl gray
she is past tense
the iridescent sun on a cold beach
brings me back to that scent
before the end of her time
before the bergamot and calamity
lead to anguish pouring itself onto the roots
of Glass Beach trees
a sadness incomprehensible
even in the air of salted waves
which otherwise bring redemption
It will take years of undoing
this composition of tender bones
this freezing in the peripheral of ocean views
this worry of unsettling heights
I hold my palms together
aim head high yet prayer
recedes into the undergrowth
never to return with her person
I can’t learn to undo this
I walk backwards into the waves
don’t watch me disappear
Georgina Marie Guardado
Georgina Marie Guardado is a lyrical poet from Lakeport, Northern California. She is the Lake County Poet Laureate for 2020-2024, the first Mexican-American and youngest to serve in this role for Lake County. In 2020 she was an Anne G. Locasio scholar for the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference and is now a member of the conference’s Board of Directors. In 2021 she was selected as a Poets Laureate Fellow for the Academy of American Poets. She is currently working on her full-length poetry manuscript.