Mudlark No. 63 (2017)

                              Late summer people 
                 scattered across the sand. Scent of autumn in the air. Cool,
                                                        floating in from the east, bringing night.

	 Record heat wave across Europe. Russian forests on fire. Night after night, 
					            flames on Russia Today.
             Sunset bathes the beach red. I’m back in the desert again: kajape 

			                            scrapes the sun thin across sandstone 
                                        inside the fence lizard’s skin. 

					                                                 Lizard, lizard, 
				                                                     another child on fire: 

         memory of the Hellfire missile shot into the funeral procession.
                      And the question, returned: How do they carry it? The lizard

                  skittered across hot sand, under black brush (fire and fire’s shadow 
				         How carry a coffin so small?       
      America’s deadly fingers had finally found
                              that part of the desert. And I was born —
                                                                                           right then, right there —
                with the question echoing, endless: how will we carry it?

There’s a man with a metal detector among the rocks, 
							                             glowing red, soon to go black. 
                                                                                      He goes down on one knee. 
					       A prayer?  

	      No, of course not. Just digging something up.  

							                                     Coin, tin, nail...

Christien Gholson  | Tidal Flats 19
Contents | Mudlark No. 63 (2017)