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Clade Song 10 left

Clade Song 10



A movement on the roof:

nomadic shifts, beaks, fins, claws.

Then a fleur of dust, a history

they have left behind to guide us

through the desert, where Bedouin

tents entertain with hot spiced tea

and lumps of papery bread.


Wheels are useless to an ostrich

or a leopard. The inverted pyramid

that is our lives, like a forgotten zoo,

is open and empty. Migrant prints,

shoeless and brushed by feathers

into wings of light, illuminate

routes to the fountain that lies

beneath our brutal gravity.






Clade Song 10 right
Lawrence R. Smith is a novelist, poet, editor and publisher of literary magazine Caliban. He is also a translator of many Italian poets collected in his anthology The New Italian Poetry [University of California Press, 1981] and of Yang Mu from the Chinese in No Trace of the Gardener [Yale University Press, 1998]. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Eastern Michigan University, the University of Rome, the University of Hawaii, California State University, San Bernardino, and Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. He currently lives near Los Angeles.