gathering

after the long trundle
to the forge, the frayed
taste of rust, weighing down
like lava on our tongues
is ravishing; we lavish
the land, carve out our shadows on her
bare flank, leaving
out tools to settle in gathering
shame; what fetish in this darkness wrings out
air, drawing the red
sea’s laughter to a daze? the ground howls
preying on his birds, ashes strip
the wind raw
of flame. at last, shell-shocked
between earth’s
seams, littered
with crumpled
shafts – flags in the hews of orbit –
only the sand stirs.

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