The psalmists have all gone underground
with armfuls of tortoiseshell inkwells and yellowed paper
and their bodies and horses’ bodies wrapped in a rind
of sour-tasting fog. All their wives are blonde
but not the type that cries at airports or major
abandonments of the more permanent sort. They are in their
houses making buttermilk biscuits, whistling entire
new American operettas. Their attics rattle. The preacher
at the Methodist picnic is blessing everything, saying God made us just
to love him back. Why was God not sufficient for himself? One must admire
how nobody asks this question. Instead they cut the thick-crusted
pies studded with little flags, then wipe their children’s noses.
Monticello sings with green today, but it’s hard to hear for the speeches,
Sousa, cheering sticky tourists. All those old Free World poses.
The taxmen are coming in through first-floor windows, tickling infants
in their cribs, taking the sugar bowl, the rocking chair, the coal.
There are tiny bubbles in the belly fat of this land. In an instant
it will fall away from the forests and hills to warm the gasping foals
and renew the farmed-out soil. The poor will render it into soap.
Take the underresearched pills. Have a cry. Put corn syrup
in your mouth and car and hair. Have a menthol.
A young woman is sitting on a stile somewhere in New England
and counting everything she sees. No, she is only a large doll.
Counting, counting. Meet me at the stile. Kiss me. Count me.