Glenn Bach


from "Atlas Peripatetic," 360

In the flecked prose of America, a knee-
slapper (palms on pant legs) of dust clouds
in the darkened night of dead grass
and stars whose thunder crashes upon hills
along the interstate, murmur of dirt
and the snow of crevices, dust pounded
from pant legs outside hotel bars
in the Midwest of large rooms
with hardwood floors that creak under
foot, of brass beds and windows,
hair and pale skin shook free of dust,
motes in the slanting light of the yellow
harvest, out in the grass buried under snow
in the prairie prowled by mountain lions
and foxes, flakes of paint from hallway
walls brushed from pant legs, collars
pulled, red soil flung from pant legs
of those leaning into windows of yellow trucks,
windows rolled down and words spoken,
the cold and wet slapped from pant legs
on screen-door porches, light-adjusted
interiors of built-ins and sagging windows,
books of irregular heights in bookshelves,
papers put away, parking lots, doors
slammed in bullet-proof glassed office
buildings down from bars with small
faded signs, wind from the river,
campfire smoke slapped from pant
legs around a smoldering fire pit,
picnic tables gleaned in the vast dark
of lemon and sandalwood, river rocks
moved closer to shore, stones stacked
on stones, love mapped on bodies,
on legs smoothed clear of dust, roads
unfurled in the evening, interstates
glowing in the desert of America, flat fields
of dead grass under snow, stars,
dust settling and settling.

Previous "Death on All Fronts"      "Death on All Fronts" Index      Next "Death on All Fronts"