Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,195 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

The American Basin - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Dogs see
In black & white,
I don’t know you,
But let you be my wife tonight;
And crawl over these blue felt blankets
In the rented dirge
Tracked near the combing seashells;
The second bedroom is unoccupied and the old window
Where the new immigrants are weeping like cats
Early on when they lived in the trailer under pines-
Let the eyes awaken upon the opal thigh,
The semiprecious stones of October,
Too early for high-school,
Tourists lost and becoming real in the Sonora Desert;
I can take you above tree-line,
Douse limbs in naked sun-shine-
Where the water flumes in the high cleft of Kit Carson Peak
Read you cursive of restless clouds;
Admire the obscured bones on our way down,
The wet premonition of the lightning storm,
And then tumble, retiring where
The anorexic aspens quiver, the punctuated dell where the golden
Discs are muted and doused-
The moon’s slender penumbra lighting our bowers’ home,
Humble in the wet dens of infant bears,
Brush your eyes with halleluiah lips, the recourse of feral automobiles;
Removing the garments which moved you unreal,
Placed you on the cloning grid; lit you like an
Angel wearing a lampshade;
The rain destroys the papers of your barcodes,
The inexact definitions they incubate in encyclopedias-
The ways you thought to see before,
The diplomas of your hunger, the monuments of the blind phallus;
Hibernate until the hollow bones reawaken us
And we come out upon the perishing slopes
Where the queer sunlight is just starting to mine ghosts;
There we will see the yellow concerto leaping like
Mephistopheles’ willow sprig over the jaunting lips of the American Basin.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 9, 2008

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