The Sunday Poem: Sara Marie Ortiz... Twisted Light

Most of us have imagined the moment of our own death. But when Death comes calling, it is a 'come-as-you-are' affair...sometimes with a twist.

Sara Marie Ortiz, of Acoma Pueblo by way of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, reads at the Church of Beethoven. Her work has won numerous awards. Currently she is the assistant coach with the Spoken Word Team at the Santa Fe Indian School. She is also working on a couple of screenplays, one of which is about her father Simon J. Ortiz. She has more prose poems appearing in an upcoming issue of Sentence.

Twisted Light

Twisted light.

Immutable, imperfect, mine: I had wanted the moment before my death to be distilled light, quiet, triumphant with the inestimable possibility of departure and arriving at once, but instead it was the incessant buzzing of a single fly, and the light to fill my eyes was just enough for anyone looking on to see the quiet terrible geometry of torso and limbs bent forward, just enough for me to study-dumbly the bruise on my left knee, listening and listening to the raspiness of the last drawn breaths from my broken chest.

An orchestral throb and murmur to anoint the grace of a single gash in her forehead over her left eye. 

--Sara Marie Ortiz

Poetry submissions are welcome. Email The whole Sunday Poem series is available from the front page of the DCF by clicking on The DitchRider in the left-hand sidebar. Poems early in the series are archived under "previous post" at the bottom of The DitchRider blog.

Views: 233

Comment by Margaret Randall on January 24, 2010 at 8:23am
Wonderful prose poem, Sara. Its economy in language and image make more dramatic what's happening here; it sears my naked skin.
Comment by cathyray on January 24, 2010 at 12:05pm
this is beautifully engineered . . . . by that I mean, every single word is so artfully crafted & beautiful. powerful.
Comment by Steven B. Fuson on January 24, 2010 at 12:41pm
Comment by Richard Read Oyama on January 25, 2010 at 4:39pm
A brave and beautiful poem. I'm reminded of Emily Dickinson's buzzing fly. Also, the shift from first to third person feels true--an "out of body" experience. It was a pleasure to meet you, Sara.
Comment by Merimee Moffitt on February 7, 2010 at 7:18pm
3-D with the line of sight (and sound) boinging around--clever--as if we could, might be able to, even be so daring as to-orchestrate our own non-suicidal death. And if not us, then who? Interesting-- thank you


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