this new world turns like a watermill
on a red clay river where I find myself
spitting dirt rocks through tall bladed cattails
cutting the heat of tractor engines lighting up
honkytonks and a mob full of ghost faces
white as dove feathers yet I am unafraid
as shrieks scurry into backfields leading
to somewhere and the carrying on of slung
tires swinging over a burning bridge
on someone’s front yard dandelions lay
with their fluff half-blown flat breath over glass jaws
strumming straw windchime whistles between teeth
tuning forks kicking up dust in the world’s melody
a sudden creek rolling me through the rushes
the penny-flamed sun falling all at once like a cliché
like autumn leaves slow dancing to the ground
or horses running from water mid-stream running
running toward the scene I follow into the hills
stacked like cannons without ammunition
without a soul to steal or save

Jonah Mixon-Webster is a poet and conceptual sound artist from Flint, Michigan. His debut poetry collection, Stereo(TYPE), received the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award. He is the inaugural Mellon Arts Postdoctoral Fellow in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University and the recipient of the Windham Campbell Prize for Poetry. His works are featured in Obsidian, Harper’s, the Yale Review, Callaloo, and Best American Experimental Writing.