Thursday, March 24, 2011

Camping with Richard Dawkins

The foremost atheist
invokes a dune
of ash sailing
westward, the wind
grain for grain until

it is new.  It is new
and yet it bears forward
the crescent ridge
and curled horn
of memory.

He maintains no atom
of my veins or bones
claimed me when first
I drew breath.  I am

a new alliance
of dust, in a forest
in Missouri, far
from desert waves
and Oxford.  My sweat-

beaded brow now
a salty crown, after
the long cold, I am
sunk in rain-slick
loam, claimed
like a thing with roots.

This equinox, chartreuse-
flecked underbrush
and fat gnats
emerging tell me
the moment grave turns

cradle.  Sky laced
with branches still
bare, and air thick
with singing. Throaty mud
kings usurp my sleep.

At camp, I scry coals
for a name to lift
my tongue, before
nodding off, exalting

Near Circus-Lyon Community Garden

Winter 2011

The bullet savages
a young man’s jugular
as I salvage
child’s pose and cup
warm tea a few doors
down.  In a town
too small to yield a slum,
distinct worlds revolve
in singular space,
and we resolve
to forget other orbits until
lead or Jerusalem
Artichokes pierce us.

The wintered garden, softly
encased, awaits someone
to clear the murky bottles
while Black Oaks bare
their bones. The paper
does not provide
his name, only the location
of his woundedness
and an uncolored shot
of the plot where Daniel’s
berries grow.  There are names
I don’t, and names I know.