In the Empire of the Air

Scourging the sea with rods
To punish it for what it has engulfed.
Or running naked with your bronzed friend
Through yellow broomsage:
You can’t be sure which remedy will be
Fatal, or whether the density of the side effects
Will prevent you from moving backwards
Across the threshold, to read
What the instructions might have said
If anyone had taken time to write them down.
So we could torture the words, make them
Confess their dirty little secret. It’s tiered.
As earth is, with faults perfectly expressing
A gravitational will that we should stumble
Over them. And all the hints
Get sponged up at night. Above the land fill —
Stars, glowing zircon strands of dump truck highbeams
Lined up, liquid and radiant, past the last
Open-all-night erotica boutique
Just over the state line of the last state.