From five floors up the streets look slick-black
and the trees are burnished copper
and the sky is winter-flat.
Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage
and I wonder what we have sold,
what we got for it.
shorebirds dancing on socked-in coastlines,
confederate-gray headstones lining soggy fields.
I see big clouds gathering, bruised and malcontent.
I see winters of discontent when I look into her eyes.
By afternoon the clouds have been shredded to rags.
We see their fragility, the opaque blue behind them;
we watch them shrink and drift;
we imagine in their shape some logic of creation.
And at night my dreams are silent movie screens
where prairie fires burn and sand hills wash away
and glaciers melt into the ocean.