Some children forget what their hands are for
and have to teach themselves to expand, unfold, debone;
They face their open fists flat like fans at the sky to eat,
and mistake the bodies of their elders
for the rungs of ladders;
cling, twist, climb, multiply
until they find their many palms pressed
against their mothers blushing,
forced to pray.
These valleys are barren.
Their swimming pool bottoms stretch flat and dry dragging,
smooth and pale as paper,
drawn by a distant fine line that doesn’t concede
to sentiment. Sediment,
Give me a map of the stars and I will lead you to
the cracks of a dry canal.
They are, after all, holes in the sky burned by
time travel and beauty
and life too small for James D. or his brothers to see.
Trust is another word
for ignorance, or hope, or knowing
just like the dust
is at once wind and sky and earth.
these valleys are made of.