No Face but My Own – a poem by Kyle Laws

No Face but My Own
—after Santa Josefina, Peter Hurd

It seemed no accident when the walk
up to the doorway where scientists
had gone before was littered with sticks
assembled into Day of the Dead figures.

This, the entrance to Los Alamos
in 1942 prior to the drive up the hill,
where everyone who worked on the bomb
had to pass through the door.

I bought a charcoal of Santa Josefina
down the street in the superstitious way
you cross yourself long after you’ve attended
any church service. Even the extreme color

of geraniums in the courtyard spooked me
as if magenta, orange and pink could provide
a kind of lightning feared would detonate a test
so bright a girl blind since birth had seen.

Kyle Laws is based out of the Arts Alliance Studios Community in Pueblo, CO where she directs Line/Circle: Women Poets in Performance. Her collections include Ride the Pink Horse (Stubborn Mule Press, 2019), Faces of Fishing Creek (Middle Creek Publishing, 2018), This Town: Poems of Correspondence with Jared Smith (Liquid Light Press, 2017), So Bright to Blind (Five Oaks Press, 2015), and Wildwood (Lummox Press, 2014). With six nominations for a Pushcart Prize, her poems and essays have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and France. She is the editor and publisher of Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press.

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