Because billy goats rise to the height of a woman
and walk upright, I saw a field of devils
blue and vertical, horned in the moonlight, heat
lightning in their luminous beards. Because the static
of grackles crying from ball moss in mesquite
meant this could be Italy, though it was the black
fields caught between strip malls
It’s true that Keats walked further and further
from England into Scotland, and the landscape grew
more grim with every step. Lakes shrunk to a slurp
in each cheek. It’s also true
that ships from a distance bob as copper weather-cocks
over thatch of cottages. True, the prickly pear
is a leper dropping its limbs in the field. What is untrue?
The shape of a lung filled like a trough
might press down on a man’s stomach –
he’d write his lover: a bellyache
brief as a devil’s beard.
In the field: goat-eyed and planetary,
something about to move, the half-bloomed moon,
a pecked-out tea rose. The sun still hours away
in another cemetery – morning stalling its laudanum
eyes over a field, a death bed. Bodiless.
Then the rise.