Taking the Waters
The hills are cut open
and out pours orange dirt
yellow machines, like bugs,
crawl over the flesh of the land.
But here once was the land of our grandfathers,
slow men with weary eyes, and hearts heavy
with northern smoke, planting rows of orange
trees in heat so thick it blurs minds.
So they grew, and kept growing,
bellies fruit full, they multiplied,
tending their vast gardens,
while the dazed animals of the marshes
shuddered and fell away,
dissolving into the fever dreams
of those that came to take the waters.
The citrus trees are torn away now too,
cancers we grew and then excised,
their fruits fall swollen and bleeding,
useless, onto the scraped and shredded earth.
Now aqua and coral
colored stucco houses sprout instead,
groves and groves of them,
grinding their foundations deep
into the unsteady ground.
We are lost and strangers to this place,
this mother of terrors and wonders.
We are not wanted here:
the venom of that
rises up and twists in our veins.
Every creature here
avenges the lands
we have enslaved,
tooth and claw,
ray by ray,
we whither in a world
that was never for us.
There is a rising in the springs
where shade gathers.
There is a snake sleeping
under the steps.
there are things watching
the cars that
flow like eluvium
of half formed fetuses
with eyes like reptiles.
They are asking
whether it is better
to grow or