George Moore


Grassblade thin, weeks eating
only rain, then slept on roadsides, in fields 

of poison ivy, just out of Tahoe.
Caught a ride into the Black Rock desert

where superhighway dwindles
to 1940s vista,

having just escaped the industrial
wasteland of Anaheim, 

the marble and iron of Santa Monica,
so lizards for shoes, vultures

for patrolmen, the Gila
no monster but night watchman,

murderous trailer parks,
the mumblings of a drunk driver

at 110 through white storms of crystalline
dust. How does the mind map

the body’s passage? Nothing escapes
the act of renaming. I recall

the postmodern world when it was modern,
flowers in Death Valley, small

as poppy pearls, the boys
from Texas salvaging the hitchhiker,

dragged through red lights
in Salt Lake, across coffee-free

Mormonish foothills, 
like mules on the twenty-team

Borax commercial. What makes
the poem impossible is its absentmindedness.

Until Denver. Then sleep,
if you remember, and sweet ice tea.



George Moore has poems forthcoming in Grain, Antigonish Review, Queen's Quarterly, Stand, and recently in Arc, Orbis, and Valparaiso, but has also published in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, and elsewhere. His sixth collection, Saint Agnes Outside the Walls, will be published by FutureCycle Press this summer, and his last, Children's Drawings of the Universe, was published with Salmon Poetry in 2015.

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