Trepanned: in other words, my mind wanders
no further than the map I drew from memory,

marking the stone-circled embers memory makes smoke
—wisps to occlude whatever arrow-line I’d draw next.

Next is the legend: asterisk for tree, circle for settlement,
double dagger for ruins, circled star for fallen star,

wave of my hand for broken satellite, exhalation for
exhalation spent climbing the rise step by step toward

the form of the field, the retirement of assent.
Here the lake, here site of ambush, here fallen king.

The thistle’s tendency—its bent posture—toward the oracular.
The wolf’s basking ruse.



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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 23 Number 5, on page 33
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