I. First Contact
Setting seasickness aside, there’s something sinister
in ships appearing on the shore.
THE QUESTION THAT IS LIKE THE NAME YHWH:
Don’t we all at least tell ourselves
we’d fight to defend our homes?
If need be, I mean?
Blood and black dirt a civilizing force.
Before the service stations
truckers and their speed and driving
before the Mormons,
before the west,
a place teeming with mammals,
always the cumulonimbus,
except on days when the bright burning
mirage of the sun seemed so constant
as to suggest that things would always
IV. Modern Era
In a city I hadn’t seen in a minute
I saw an AIM tattoo on an arm that argued
with a confused cop.
Did the cities come on ships?
A documentary I saw a few months before:
a standoff in the prairie
on ground propped up with bodies
from a standoff in the prairie.
Nothing’s better now
but the prairie soil is fatigued
V. Still Docked
Wrapped up in settler skin
I peer out the window of my mortgage.
My grass has gone to clover
right up to the cedar
fence I had put in.
The other way, a pond.
I squint to see a time before
I squint to articulate
problem and its solution:
how to keep the ships
off of the shore.