—"mu" fifty-third part—
 Some new Atlantis known as Lower
Ninth we took leave of next, half the
 turtle’s back away. Whole bodies
  we saw floating, not only heads…
  Endless letting go, endless looking else-
 where, endless turning out to be
 otherwise… Woods all around where
   we came to next. We’d been
  eating wind, we’d been drinking  wind,
 rumoring someone looked at God eye
 to eye… In what seemed a dream but
  we saw wasn’t we saw dirt sliding.
  We were back and all the buildings
 were gone. What were cliffs to us we
 wondered, blown dust of Bandiagara, what
the eroding precipice we saw… Ground
 acorns ground our teeth now. All but
 all gums, we were where the Alone
  lived, came to a clearing lit by light so
 bright we staggered, Nub it was we knew
  we were still in… The mountain of
  the night a mound of nothing, Toulali’s burr
 what balm there was. Toulali’s burr what
 balm, remote though it was, lifetimes
behind us now… Voice laryngitic, lost
  and lost again, blown grit rubbed itaway…
 Someone had said something came to
mind. Someone had sung something, what
 its words were no one could say. Sang it
  bittersweet, more brusque than bitter, song’s
 cloth endowment stripped… Choric strain,
  repeatedly slipped entablature. Given… Given
   endlessly again… No telling when but
  intent on telling, no telling what. Wished we
were home


 Refugees was a word we’d heard,
raw talk of soul insistent, adamant,
  the nonsong we sang or the song
 we nonsang, a word we’d heard we heard
 was us… Wept in our sleep, again
one with what would never again be
 there, raw talk rummaged our book,the
  backs of our hands written on with
  cornmeal, the awaited ones reluctant again…
   The city of sad children’s outskirts we
 were in, woods notwithstanding, woods
  nonetheless, bright light the light we saw
   as we were jolted, raw talk spiraling away…
    We were there and somewhere else no
  matter where we were, everywhere more
    than where we were… Where the Alone
  lived we donned abalone-shell ornaments,
  light’s clarity conceded, night yet to relent, Toulali
    smoldered on, semisang, semispoke, wrestled
 with his tongue it seemed… We trudged in place,
   barely lifted our feet, backbeat hallowing
  every step we took,  moved us albeit we stayed
     put. We were where we were, somewhere
    else no matter where, evacuees a word we’d heard…
   Stutter step, stuck shuffle, dancelike, Toulali’s
    croon enticed us, toyed with us, ground gone under
  where we