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Rain Prud’homme-Cranford Goméz.
“When Rabbit Smokes.”

© Rain P. C. Goméz
Used by permission.
All rights reserved.

Compair Lapin

Sometimes coincidence is just coincidence.

No memory or meaning to tease out from the

Darkened layers of happenstance.

I have seen folk seeking meaning, importance, significance, rightness and calling. Finding the turn of a phrase, the meeting of an eye, the dream that echoes that afternoons’ events. They are miners, delving into caverns of the unconsciousness attempting to make connection, to make sense of themselves and the trickster we call memory.

The layers of my skin are made

From story and memory.

I am fashioned from the experience

Of mothers,

Of fathers.

I move in constant awareness that

This act of being was not easily won.

My girlfriend calls me at 2am, her dream jolting into her brain, branding images onto the back of her eyelids. “Tell me what this means Rain,” she says quietly into the phone, across mountains, across rivers, across miles of separation. A Cherokee Navajo mixedblood, she keeps her voice soft as not to awaken the remnants of her dream crouching in slumber in the corners of her room. As she waits I imagine her visualizing me whirling a cast net into the darkness of night water extracting substance from the void, meaning from the dream. I want to tell her my father throws the nets, my sister and I clean the fish.

When Rabbit smokes his burrow fills

With dancing smoke, two stepping

Tobacco and kinnikin-nick. Time ceases,

and memory encroaches and recedes

As if daring guests to swim into its tides.

When Rabbit smokes

I hear Stories in a voice neither male nor female,

In truth and fiction.

When Rabbit smokes

I feel The uncertainty of sleep dimmed memory.

Tonight I have no answers. I have chased my share of disjointed coincidence. I have lost my heart walking on bridges made of nothing more than locks of hair and hollow promises. I have waited for memories to be realities and for memories to become dust. As if time could erode away the pain of blood, of genocide, of rape and of dying loves. Skin has been lost, hands and feet roughened, split, blood loosened, flesh infected and cauterized . . . by fire . . . by smoke.

I hang the phone up, propping myself against the firmness of my pillow, I light a cigarette and watch the smoke two-step into the corners of my room.

Text prepared by:


Goméz, Rain Prud’homme-Cranford. “When Rabbit Smokes.” Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory. Norman, OK: Montgrel Empire Pr., 2012. Print. Copyright © 2015 by Rain P. C. Goméz. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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