Dan Beachy-Quick

No wind blew the clouds across the sky.
No wind blew the darkness into the clouds.
We sat below mixing the water into the dirt
At the river's edge, the water we carried
In the little cups we made with our hands
This mud. We poured the mud into the frames
The librarian gave us. We hoped the sun
Wouldn't fail. When someone spoke the words
We began to dream. The wind spiraled down
In a cloud. Trees heaved. The sun blinked out.
Lightning struck as light. Lightning struck
My hand. Our dreams ended when someone
In pain cried out My hand. Anonymous life
Among definite articles. We carved our names


Into the same mud we carved our dreams.
When someone said Forget we threw our dreams
Into a river. This work that is our work
Remembers a fact as a form of inheritance.
A cloud begins as a mote of dust moisture
Adheres to a motion heaving earth into air.
Little mirrors walking through the sky
Above us, reflecting nothing but the dark
Earth's brute shoulder shrugging the day
Into the dirt, bearing the dreamless names
In the dark that is our dark, our names
Carried away by the wind we call a river,
With the muddy crescent beneath one hand's nail
Digging out the old dirt beneath the other.


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