Instructions for Building Straw Huts
By Yusef Komunyakaa
First you must have
unbelievable faith in water,
in women dancing like hands playing harps
for straw to grow stalks of fire.
You must understand the year
that begins with your hands tied
behind your back,
worship of dark totems
weighed down with night birds that shift
& leave holes in the sky. You must
what's behind the shadow of a treadmill--
its window the moon's reflection
& silent season reaching
into red sunlit hills.
You must know the hard science
of building walls that sway with summer
Locking arms to a frame of air, frame of
rooted to ancient ground
where the door's constructed last,
just wide enough for two lovers
to enter on hands & knees.
You must dance
the weaverbird's song
for mending water & light
with straw, earth, mind, bright loom of
untortured by bushels of thorns.