• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 09


Your cities built on collateral
litter my nightsleep—moons dark without their suns.
The roar of your cities drown my ancestors.
Their bellowed ballads once hung in the shadows
of every night as if held by barked haints.

When these fertile lands were hushed
except for bittern and blackbird
my mother’s father’s mother as her mother as her mother
heard the time of their own ending.
It was our way to listen then stance and swing
slowing girth until giving into the current’s grace
rocked downstream until sinking to redmud grave.

As my daughter’s son’s daughter should know, I knew
where to find the psalms of my departed.
To lay ear to request and to answer as loyal descendants do.
To leave the grains they may need in their next.

Coalescing conurbation encroaching on this—
my lineage, my stories, my lowing lamentations.
They nevermind my bawls and caterwauls.
It is not a country but every nation of men,
men meaning man and woman, men meaning well.

My hide no longer dampsoft with rivers and tradition
but upstunk with loss that cannot even be mourned
as city composition replaced the songs between us.



Skyscrapers stanch the windchorus.
The hum of locomotion against asphalt drowns.
In my attempts at sleep your cities moons
wear craters as deep as the loss they cause,
as deep as my mourn.