Jean Day
from The Literal World



The baby wore an expression of concern,
              Who are you, and where do you come from?
We lit the prairies on fire to mark our advance
then words were made
              by the president's man when
                                               promiscuous as sunlight
Mother had not yet finished preparing breakfast
and we were taken,
filled to the brim
by the doctor of fuss. The sun so hot
we froze to death, the weather it was men
covered with boils from the water our boats
                                                      drove over ...
Women made up the tale that would not be told
                                    (some of it in Latin):
"My young darling girl do not forget
the good I have learned you; take this certificate
                                                                as cash
for a long happy night in the wilderness