Sandbar, Early June, Kansas River

Something in the water smells like a dead zone. Something
     in the mud creeps across my heel.

You can drift out here. The silt, the silt. Every dust bowl longs<      to be soup. I mean the sky

is totally Sanskrit,
     and flycatcher’s still working that little willow’s atmosphere

like he owns the place, like
     even the cottonwoods have quit giving the wind

some lip. I love near-island’s bluffsheer, that loaf of loess look.
     Go on, Mama Kaw,

dredge me. Silver maple, show me some leg.
     There’s an eagle now. Of course there’s a fucking eagle. I mean

upwellings so perverse
     one longs to strike a match. And vultures, just upstream, steady

at conjugating carp into kite frame. God,
     you old trotliner, I’m going to clean all your hooks

and then make a necklace, lots of necklaces, from what cordage,
     what sinkers. For nowhere, its throat.

Thorpe Moeckel is the author of five books, including Arcadia Road: A Trilogy, which is forthcoming this fall. He directs the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University.


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