The Thirteenth Chime
At the thirteenth chime of the cuckoo’s clock
I’ll be leaving this town with my hands bound,
riding backwards on a mule.
The world I wear is a loose garment—
a crown of flies, a shroud of wind,
a jackrabbit butchered by the sun.
The horizon is undefined
like a drunken tattoo on the neck of God,
maybe it was once the outline of a rose,
now it’s nothing but a wound.
The desert crickets have disappeared,
taken their hanging song
to the highest branch in heaven
and a strong wind can slur the words
into something like a hymn.
But now it’s time to climb off this cross.
They need the wood to build another gallows.
So I will see you in the next town over—
a place where the adobe is washed
white as fallen snow and acorns are ground
beneath the cloven hooves of angels;
a place where the fossilized remains
of sea monsters swim through solid rock
and the children all have fathers.