Poem Beginning with a Line by John Ashbery
Jealousy. Whispered weather reports. The lure of the land so strong it prompts gossip: we chatter like small birds at the edge of the ocean gray, foaming. Now sand under sand hides the buried world, the one in which our fathers failed, the palm frond a dangerous truth they once believed, and touched. Bloodied their hands. They once believed. And, touched, bloodied their hands; the palm frond, a dangerous truth; the buried world, the one in which our fathers failed. Now sand under sand hides at the edge of the ocean: gray, foaming gossip. We chatter like small birds, the lure of the land so strong it prompts jealousy. Whispered weather reports.
From Complaint in the Garden (Zoo Press, 2004). Copyright © 2004 by Randall Mann. Appears with permission of the author.