Amphibious morning skates along the maroon wall
carrying orange blossoms
          in outstretched arms. Barbed wire veins,
strung on iron pikes, loop,
inescapably inward.
Counter to my sense of economy,
          the text contains too many adjectives.
In the Central Valley, day begins
with cries of “listo.”
Orchids perfume villas.
Dreamers, unable to wake from a restless sleep
          sense storms, rags of wet smoke
obscuring the vista.
This poem has been written by a guest
who fears the servants,
not because they are dispossessed political subjects;
instead, like the matron
his hostess, he has
no reason to give offense
and so abides.

Donald Wellman | Mudlark No. 34
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