Poetry 7

Elephants in my Head

Elephants in the living room, bedroom, kitchen
Huge, quiet and intelligent elephants
muttering, cursing, swaying trunks filled
with judgement

The elephants know the story of all things
bright and dim how the myth got
started on a cold California morning
when the dogwoods cringed and spent
the night between the feathers of
fallen angels

The elephants witness
something I said, wore,
a photograph, a misspoken thought that
perjured and spited me with
recurrent nightmares of unbelonging
hugging the corners of
condemnation that skitter between
sheets and under the carpet, nestled
beside ridicule
and rage

Even elephants harbor parasites
that bite and trigger
deride and derail
impalpable as smoke
drifting in circles about
my head

Only elephants can trigger
elemental shifts
of sun and moon
when they become
enamored of,
and armored
with, sky

Only then
can they beckon me back
from the court of
criminal missteps
to resume my pilgrimage
to drought withered plains
to seek alchemical remedy
so that I may remember who I
am not

—Kimi Sugioka

—Magda Ehlers