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.