Then I realized I had read too many poems
about pulling the dead from the living:
ragged cry of cow or horse or pig straining
the human urgency, greasy hands
groping around, arms stiff against the creature's
to bring out the fetal pieces already half-rotten
sometimes not, and everyone human
what great mystery approached
what small nation, vigorously defended.
with or without us that poor carcass
would grow in the rainy season. Late at night
shivering for no reason, no reason at all,
Their first mistake: presumption of a pattern
forgivable perhaps on twinned branches of the Hoosic.
At least they never separated life from art,
in spring flood of cloth staining the current red
and orange and blue, coating the dull stones.
Electricity was the second elevation, a cleaner one
though no less transitory. Wealthy men built large homes
in neighboring towns, marble inlay, substitutions
for the vertical. Meanwhile it could get the railroad
for these workers. Meanwhile it could be very fresh
and clean, production of light for instance, near relative
to charge yet more abundant in this dispensation.
What we need is demolition of the horizontal,
approximating gauge while preserving compound surfaces:
a new raiment. Linking a clock to its true hour
which if inverted yet reaches toward the sun.