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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, July 18, 2017.
About this Poem 

“Across two vast, golden landscapes, that of the Kansas Tallgrass Prairie, and that of the Mojave Desert (where any form of human presence feels like an invasion itself) the poem’s title is a reference to the invasive tamarisk tree, which drips with dense masses of pink flowers, even as it threatens the delicate ecology of the area with its terrible alien thirst.”
—Louise Mathias

What If the Invader Is Beautiful

In the tallgrass
where all gold starts

wind became
my additional lover.

His hand the inflorescence
one finger partially gone—

Lovegrass/
Panicgrass/
Witchgrass./

**

I carefully researched
how to bait my trap.

Took the small blonde charmer
out of town.

Stealer of cholla,
eater of sun murdered plants.

I knew it would die coming back.

**


Ajo lilies
now up to my waist.

What blackened
the opal knowledge—

What his ghost finger traced.

Copyright © 2017 by Louise Mathias. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 18, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Louise Mathias. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 18, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Louise Mathias

Louise Mathias

Louise Mathias is the author of The Traps (Four Way Books, 2013).

by this poet

poem

Moved the jackrabbit
from the road, laid her under
a bush. Land of little

shade, we do what we can.

One sport is crying while driving.
Another the daffodil light.

All the mornings I’ve found you,
been found.

*

I’m just eating a sandwich with Sarah,
when the

2
poem
All night I flew the dark recess of God's mind.
It was arranged like Iowa fields--

not a damn thing missing.
You ask how I survived.

I lived on a message, broad light
at the end of the world.

Words, they have so much in common with departure,

the clouds elliptical & nervous.
Why translate? It's just a
poem

And how to fill them 
is the problem of cigarettes and paint.  

First time I felt my undoing 
was in front of 

a painting—Sam Francis, I believe.  

Oh, his bloomed out, Xanax-ed California.

I liked the word guard, but you know

we made each