Earthen Desires

Large water jar. 11" x 12 x 11". Pottery and photo by Max Early.


A lint covered clay vessel
hides inside the China cabinet
anxious for her slipware.

Potter’s hands lift her out.
His breath, a rush of wind,
frees her from dust and inertia.

Warm sleek riverstone lines,
hand caresses burnished sway.
The potter’s gradual pace.

On her clay skin, painted stars
and lightning constellations
like a tan body tattooed

with red-winged black birds,
soaring the amorous night sky
on a backdrop of moonlit cloud.

She anticipates her pit firing,
posing on pottery shards—
a sheen ceramic vase.

Max Early (Laguna Pueblo) is the author of the poetry collection Ears of Corn: Listen and is a MFA graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts. His clans are Tsina Hanu (Turkey People) and Kwaya Waashch’ee (child of the Bear) and he lives in the village of Paguate, New Mexico.
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