In a cornfield at the bottom of a sandstone canyon,
wearing the gloves of this song tightly over closed ears;
the bursting sun presses licks of flame
into our throats swelling with ghost dogs
nibbling on hands that roped off our footprints
keeping what is outside ours tucked
beneath the warmth of their feet cooling to zero,
as they swarm luminous landmines like gnats,
as thunder shakes white sand from wet hair,
as police sirens trickle from water jars onto squash blossoms,
as starlight, opened inside a darkened room,
begins to tell its story from end to beginning again.
Copyright © 2009 by Sherwin Bitsui. From Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009). Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.