Means of Entering the Swarm


It's striking how being in the bottom rank
affects your moral sense.

Or we might never shake our tendency to live
straddling the faultline, knelt within
the dipped spoon washed
clean by flood, or drought's knuckled seizing, or
the ice suddenly breaking

under a bear too tired
to swim any longer. The warlord
galloping by, a rolling twitch
in his left eye.

Or maybe we follow, panting after,
in a fever to be told which animals
we yet can't do without.
                                   Or landmasses.
Perhaps Africa. Continents
forlorn, orphans in a snowstorm,

pearly grains smaller than
the smallest white dot, outlined
in white.
                  Or take the optimistic view,
conjure the busy convoy of
trucks, laden with grain, crossing
a desert. Or lately two men,

holding hands, and walking,
in the evening, during famine.


Places I've Been

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