I AM A NATURAL WONDER

Back home they’re cracking apples to eat.
Here they make their houses of mud,
roads made of mud, places to swim
made of mud and the mud sculptors slap
their bellyfuls of potatoes and laugh.
Except for the pies
my angry brother commanded,
I have never built anything
out of mud. Nobody in the history of the world
has ever made a dessert-potato.
Oh, wizard, I’m coming at you
through the bear claw forest.
One of the natives stole my hatchet.
A keel propped on the beach.
A land of rock slabs, great grey steaks
cut from some monster
and left to freeze.
The weather is incredibly mild.
Boys pushing a wheelbarrow
of baby lambs cheerfully direct me
to a woman doing a jig on a rolled up carpet.
The wizard is a difficult man
to find, especially when you have
help. The wizard is a charioteer
riding from Egypt. I know you, brother.
Do you know which direction to face
while interpreting an omen?
Can you make me a brainless carp
happily munching shit
at the bottom of a mountain lake
in Appalachia, before they dug the coal,
before the white man came,
before the red man came,
when Appalachia was Himalayan
and brainless carp were big and wild
and still trembling with creation.

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