You, rare as Georgia
spell that catches
us by surprise.
The too-early blooms,
tricked, gardenias blown about,
circling wind. Green figs.
Nothing stays. I want
to watch you walk
the hall to the cold tile
night, a lifetime.
-From For the Confederate Dead
QUIVIRA CITY LIMITS
for Thomas Fox Averill
Pull over. Your car with its slow
breathing. Somewhere outside Topeka
it suddenly all matters again,
those tractors blooming rust
in the fields only need a good coat
of paint. Red. You had to see
for yourself, didn't you; see that the world
never turned small, transportation
just got better; to learn
we can't say a town or a baseball
team without breathing in a
dead Indian. To discover why Coronado
pushed up here, following the guide
who said he knew fields of gold,
north, who led them past these plains,
past buffaloes dark as he was. Look.
Nothing but the wheat, waving them
sick, a sea. While they strangle
him blue as the sky above you
The Moor must also wonder
when will all this ever be enough?
this wide open they call discovery,
disappointment, this place my
thousand bones carry, now call home.
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