Exhibit 1

Susan Barba
Start with a base map, unlabeled terrain,
in shaded green and ochre, nude relief,
 
cool continental mass bathing in blue,
a face whose features now are visible,
 
unannotated, apolitical,
as if a mighty snow had settled here
 
and muffled every static line and letter,
earth as naked as the moon, but full
 
of lively color, from the fissured west
into the placid belly of the country,
 
eastward over quartzite ridge, carbonate
valley into southwest-trending s-curves
 
up the coast, a range two thousand miles,
two hundred fifty million years of mountain
 
formed in three successive waves of rock
uplifted and depressed, and in the west
 
it’s just begun. Nine hundred million acres
under time, under stress and stretches
 
of content. Reserved for a duration.
Blue-green grid of constant revolution.

Related Poems

The Sciences Sing a Lullabye

Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you're tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They'll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren't alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren't alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.