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Summer was more than lustrous.
Teal threads fused beguilement
into an elaborate grotesqurie
that bolstered delicate degrees
of malaise entwined in august
tracery. Canary birch leaves
and rouged maples today cool.
They must soon furl under hazel
forests of brittle limb
to uphold winteršs grim paradise.
Oxen snorted in padded yokes.
Lissome fingers of mill girls danced
on ironhanded machines, fibers
in light beams rose over wailing
shuttles and chains. An oak wheel
groaned. Dark reflections ran along
the riveršs skin.
Brooding kiln brick, well faced blocks;
the masonry of lost trades
sullen in this decadešs afternoon
has been transfigured into ruddy ruin.
Imitating gods, we scooped
squirming handfuls. As delicate as
glass animals, they tried to escape
by crawling up the waxed sides
of our sawed off milk cartons.
With segmented thoraxes, futile
kicking legs; juice ran
from their bodies. Hooked in a tiny
crackle, head on a barb like
regicide. Sometimes they splayed
wings and moved legs upon the water
before they turned to sink.
Had this 10 a.m. been clear
jubilating songs wouldšve slung out
to scramble after a liver
painted log truck. Surveying
uplands north of basalt plains,
our eyes would soon hunt jackrabbits
on rich malpais. Overstepping polychrome,
we would admire Mogollon kivas.
Postcards would be sent to girlfriends
knowingly untenable in Saginaw.
Bivouacked in mummy bags,
we would recall variegated landscapes
dotted by blowzy hogans, and Quonset huts.
Constellations would run 360 degrees
around a campfirešs helix of aspiring
embers. But as it was, at 10 a.m.
rain hissed static. Your mandolin
persevered beneath billows of ragged blue
poncho. Ends of cloth waved in spray
atomized by tires into clouds
over canescent highway.
Prodigal deposits of mineral equity
wait to be taken from under feet.
Threadbare prairies marked by cairns
conceal grain grottoes from rain.
They who once knew no borders
now edge an ill defined emptiness.
Only unturned fields were precious
to ancestors preserved below memorials
that carry English translations of names
recent generations do not understand.