Man-made, bejesus hot, patches of sand turned to glass.
Home of Iron Mountain and McCulloch chainsaws.
London Bridge, disassembled, shipped, reassembled.
The white sturgeon stocked, found dead, some lost,
hiding in the depths of Parker Dam. Fifty year-old
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Reedy striations don’t occlude the beneath—
earthy mash of leaves, flat pepper flakes, layered,
tips protruding, tender-desolate above a mirror
surface, gently pressing on horse-mane, nest material,
tickle-brush, fringe. Buff block-shapes further down,
ghost-bits of green-green, a lone leaf burned white.
My thrown stone skitters on ice. The next, larger,
plunks through and for a moment I am a violator
but then I see it opened a bubble cell, a city,
a lesion, a map—the way in cold and luminous.
Ellen Doré Watson
Ellen Doré Watson was born in Glen Cove, New York, in 1950 and earned both a BA and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts. Her first poetry collection, We Live in Bodies, was published by Alice James Books in 1997.