I am tired of the black-and-white photograph
Of a government bunkhouse, tin and pine,
And the orchids in the catalpa trees
Shriveled to twine. A white birdcage
Hangs from a rafter.
This was the sleep of mathematics, the poor facts
Of primrose. An MP struts
With a large sack filled with rattlesnakes.
The tar-paper windmill kneels out in the dunes,
Battered hat of the Pilgrims.
Beside the bunkhouse,
A tower and checkpoint. Again, a large sack
Slack with mind. The head of the Medusa inside.
Across the dunes
Dead flowers scatter like X rays of the thorax.
I have fallen behind ...
From "The Mercy Seat: Collected and New Poems, 1967-2000" by Norman Dubie (Copper Canyon: 418 pp., $30)