Three Varieties of Native Poem Species, Organized by Dialect
Poem: Resides in New England,
displays pinnacle plumage, anthologized.
Divides its narrow rooms
according to roads and iron ferrules
of pencils. Chewed-upon.
At home in erstwhile.
Hated by students, American.
Close your knife upon itself.
Kneel in gravel and rest
binoculars upon a windowsill.
January. So common, people forget
to count its feet gathered on power lines,
its iambic shrug. Sudden flight.
A wilder world in its wild song.
Pome: At home on horseback,
takes residence in Midwest.
Hurt-shut and heart blue,
it knows all the parts of horses,
rings back the song of equine skulls.
Hardflowers make their home here.
Fashioned from old toys,
teeth and tell. Knife-fisted,
star-carpeted, it snows back open
and thrives upon goldfinch wings.
Relative of the loom.
Cinch the saddle, the waist, the belly.
Slip the bit through the teeth
and listen to it press against tongue
and stepped palate, the roof
of the long, dark mouth.
Morning. A beginning that mends
like fence: wood, wire, peg.
Poim: Farthest extant species of Southwest.
Knows prairie penny-whistle quirts
of birds, creates small chapbooks
creased with black thread.
Hoop-skirted, it is made of tougher stuff
than wire brushes and spines.
Desert. Smaller than you’d expect
and ever-blue. Happy to make you
at home. Barbed wire hurt-step
it has grown on reservations,
scrim of its throat.
Go out to the detritus, spend weekends
on cliffsides. Count the dragonflies.
Green armor, ribs-illuminate,
they count blessings there in palms
of canyons and bleeding-heart Virgins
carved into trees. Love. Love.
You’ll see it there.
They borrow calls from one another:
cholla, cholla, cholla,
dragonfly, dragonfly, dragonfly.
Nebraska, Neblaska, Neblaska,
home. Speak flat water,
until words become something else.