The Cure for Melancholy is to Take the Horn
Powdered unicorn horn was once thought to cure melancholy.
What carries the hurt is never the wound
but the red garden sewn by the horn
as it left––and she left. I am rosing,
blooming absence, its brilliant alarum.
Brodsky said, Darkness restores what light cannot––
repair. You thrilled me––opened to the comb.
O, wizard, O, wound. I want the ebon bull and the moon––
I’ve come for the honeyed horn.
Queen Elizabeth traded a castle for a single horn.
Surrender to the kingdom in my hands––
army of touch marching upon the alcazar
of your thighs like bright horns.
I arrive at you––half bestia, half feast.
Tonight we harvest the luxed forest
of Caderas, name the darkful fruit
spicing our mouths, separate sweet from thorn.
Lanternist, in your wicked palm,
the bronzed lamp of my breast. Strike the sparker––
take me with tremble. Into your lap
let me lay my heavy horns.
I fulfilled the prophecy of your throat,
loosed in you the fabulous wing of my mouth––
red holy-red ghost. I spoke to god,
returned to you feathered, seraphimed and horned.
Our bodies are nothing if not places to be had by,
as in, God, she has me by the throat,
by the hip bone, by the moon. God,
she has me by the horn.
193 The Paris-American
Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. She is a 2012 Lannan Literary Fellow and a 2012 Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. In 2014, she was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, as well as the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, and a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts Low Rez MFA program and lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, working with the last remaining speakers at Fort Mojave to teach and revitalize the Mojave language.
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