from America Poem

(opening movement, # i.)

This middle. This vast. This trim of the last
first snow in ditches. This hard-lined
space for fattened sows and lone-tribed

starlings seeding the sky, chanting falcons
sure of this one thing: below is the traveler.
But they have a home, and a mystery.

Leaves beyond cut corn crumble the only
willow, the only hawk beyond desolate pink. Your sky
is a soft drum-beater, calling if I have a home, a history.

I remove the tarantula’s furred sound. Balance its thrum
with the quiet layers of a second snow as it hardens.
On one side they lie, shades, winter-shadow tombs

and a train going somewhere every hour. All
day it snows. All night: the season’s
eyes. Every hour the Rock Island Line quakes walls,

hoots its music — a train is always
going from where it wheels, I hear its warning.
I seek the sleek still of I-beam tracks bearing

Lacawanna’s tundra crossing seamless white and sisterhood.
I need to have a thousand feet to pace a thousand shores,
a thousand eyes to feed on each fat sparrow — may I?

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