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White Sands

Jason Anderson

I. Between afternoon light slivered in green, the meretricious glow of BP neon, 
the lingering V-2 test; the boxy hospital lights, the clinic 
for syphilitic Guatemalans, for garlic pickers and the one-armed, the no-armed, 
the many-armed, like baby Ganesh; the oleaginous cast 
to John Foster’s eyes, the under-ripe bananas, the Persian stripe, 
to Mossadegh and Kermit, to the laughing felted frog

II. Two trees split and spear—scarred, inverted anchors; antlers, 
burnt black and salted—cut a pair of gothic question marks 
against the Midwestern bleats; a sleuth of bears, a shiver of sharks, 
the oceanic thrum of some land-locked tourist cote: 
“Diet Rite,” “Yuma,” or “Maybe I,” or, just, “Hell now, Sheila”

III. Beyond hell, beyond fraying clotheslines and loose-leafed copse; beyond 
dotted lines, the pink and white Rand McNally polygons of proving grounds 
and the Tohajiilee; beyond non-historic grasslands, suckling in blood
and the gynecoid swell of bodies baked in the earth

IV. To buffalo, waking in the dark, queer 
as leaving a theater and not understanding 
how it became, at last, night