Once something must have happened here,
before you were always quoting yourself to sleep,
a victim of bunny marks. Gunpowder
boomed in the birch forests,
redcoats flashed like flowers.
The city was narcotic with gold,
derricks stiffened beside wounded ships.
Women wept for the diving bells’ worth of dead.
Flames rose along the river, longing—
All that is green must turn to red.
Write down what you love. Live as if you are awake.
Listen: the dynamite cracks in the concrete forest.
That echo is the sound of borrowed grace. Believe it,
ask memory to be your burning stake.
January 12, 2006