Big Jack and his walking stick
live on the ridge. Navajo
orphan kids dance for him,
bobcat urine’s in the weeds,
the shotgun barrel’s up his sleeve,
a Persian coin is on the wind.
The Chinese Mountains smell the moon
and arch their backs. I tell him, Jack,
there’s times I wish I was living in
canvas France, the old west,
a picture book, the Sea of
Tranquility, or even in
the den near the hot spring.
He says, kid, to hell with
phantom limbs; spring is a verb,
a wish is a wash, a walking stick
is a gottdam wing.
from Poetry, Vol. 192, No. 4, July/August
Publisher: Poetry, Chicago, 2008