after statue #1, “The Scarfaced Indian”
These sun-bleached gods could be a kind
of anthem: stray dogs swimming
under sail-torn skies. The swallowing fall
of an empire. All in sea-speak.
The good sailor hopes desperately against it.
Against all. A boy wakes pockets filled
with frayed rope, a stone nose, a handful
of strayed-hair prophecies: America.
Wooden box god hallucinating flames.
Earth splitting signatures. On walls
the larger bruise, the dead paint of natives,
nations of disintegrations.
Nation of cane-struck faces, we are sorry
on the bridge beneath a tent of dark ladders.
Effigies of grain, you are awash in lost waves,
in storm drains and bottoms of ditches.
Would you leave behind an unlocked house?
Owls in the dark, fleeing heart stopped
and shifting, the Westernmost ship
with the sun in its mouth nearly drowned.