[Nothing we love     is what we love—]
(The Searchers)


Nothing we love     is what we love—
not strange then that this land could be
so loved.     Inside a darkened theater                 vintage VistaVision clouds
pile up against a VistaVision sky.    
The ochre-red desert shades into distances purply- blue.

What is this world but a world of left-overs,
the desert the mesas the high self-regarding buttes                 the wildflower & sagebrush
testaments to worlds gone by—
                                                            rock-time ledgered in the rock-face.
The searchers ride past it     furious for what isn’t there.

Men in war paint know this & must die.
Do bleed sweetly onto the desert floor.
Do savagely demise.
With all the strong, short-timers thundering by.




[Jon Thompson teaches at North Carolina State University where he edits the international, online journal, Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics and the single-author poetry series, Free Verse Editions. His first collection was The Book of the Floating World (2007); his most recent book is a collection of lyrical essays, After Paradise: Essays on the Fate of American Writing. More information can be had at www.jon-thompson.net]

Copyright © 2011 by Jon Thompson, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.