When I left my body, the voyageurs nibbled the bones
& yelped, feeling willful & saintly, with nothing
up their sleeves. Except that the aftermath was not what
they thought it would be, no idea that the Great Lake
would wreck & the dunes where they portaged
birch canoes would languish in real estate. Just voyageurs
talking to bones in patois, enticing, as if to coax
beaver pelts & pemmican out of my rib cage. …
I breathe differently up here.
The wind across the river is busy
with commerce and worship, columns
at my doors. Rooms from the upper city
in my veins, in my bones …
Because I could not pull the homesickness
from my clothes with all my teeth,
the skins of foreign cloth dead in my mouth,
I am the savage who tried to …
Fry an egg on the sidewalk
Burn your feet in the sand
The waves are massive, the arms get tan.
Watermelon is mealy; sorry, I don’t like it
Nor the cake …
Annual trip to the village cemetery
Looking for your father’s grave,
we walk around
and read the names carved on crosses.
You recognize neighbors,
Old Neculai dead?
His son, too, at 50?
fiery cosmos …