Echo: From the Mountains

Echo: From the Mountains


Unicorns brought the news of human reason to the border
So we gassed them. It was unlike the echo of guitars in a stone
Cathedral or midnight’s crow landing snow in a field of wheat.
Their deaths had a magpie’s clarity for prophecy in the bits
Of mane, snagged flags in the tines of the border fence, prophecy
In the blood blotting the stones that winked at us as if saying you too,
You too will become the clock of your disappearance. Leviathan,
Nightstick, tear gas—the century, barely beyond its birth-
Rattle, had become a banker riding the greenback of a brown
Stallion to dust and bone. Who will shoot the century in the heart?
Who will take a selfie with the corpse wearing a sign that reads:
Your selfie will not save you from your corpse… the clock of it,
Its ruptured spleen, its begging and blank labor? Every century
Falls below the imagination of itself then takes the shape of its falling:
401(k). Roth IRA. Short-term Bond Funds. Forest fire. Instagram.
A crow is the emperor of any domain that capitulates to the whistle
And weather of crows. No angel will come and bear these migrant
Deaths beyond this bird and human reason.
Someone called it a miracle—the gassing. That it could be done
Remotely. With various devices. And no one harmed.
My father, who is dead, said it reminded him of getting a haircut
On Good Friday: “One man closes his eyes, another cuts it off.”
The mark of invisibility is often mistaken for the mark of absence;
All desire is shaped by the delusion of consent.
Who has not been an entryway shuddering in the wind
Of another’s want, a rose nailed to some dark longing and bled?

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