Journal of Writing & Environment

From sweltering ice factory to nursery

to skittle-alley (its pins, still standing,

are the only unplucked diamonds left)


you stomp, scuttle along topography,

slide from an eave to the dune’s end,


its slope a product of some equation:

the height of a house plus the neglect.


The refugees carried their claw-footed

bathtubs only so far, left houses open

for the sand to vandalize, its intentions


like something feral’s—an act of terri-

tory, spreading out, settlement, settling.


You step into the abandoned mansion,

and find sky in every room, the walls

chafed with cumuli until what is finite

isn’t, scraped into dioramas of sunset.


Close your eyes, and the imperceptible

work of the world drifts down the hall.

The work of the world is a curvature.


Those who asked the desert to leave

had to walk away on the flood itself.