• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 02
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from Wheat

A Rhumb Line (1969)

If I drew a line through all
our births over five centuries
from the Silk Road to the Satloj,
through the woolly Khyber
—its dark resinous opium
wending towards Lahore,
pockets of carved stones—
at one end would be the seed
ferrous imbricate hybrid
yellowing thorn of wheat

At the other
the June waking the July waking
to inedible sheaves, to age,
to our hair falling out, our eyes
clouding with disease
and the children
that keep on never coming

wild logic scythe in hand
barefoot harvesting all night
high on morphine