When Whitman pushed out to the then frontier
How could he not have felt the union
With spring grass and sap rising
And soil upturning beneath his bare toes.
He saw a wet land glistening
And heard the choir of the young voice
Bringing strings to match his song
Singing now, now we have this moment together.
Could he also see this second time
A mirror to the first
Vile in exact proportion to the former sugars?
Would he have fallen into slack jaw silence if so?
That first kiss of blue
Now the vinegar of these bleeding sores,
Ranges of detonated mountain peaks
Blood screams that pass in acid river songs?
He might ask me to make no more of what has passed
Than the reflection of his young pan dance
And warn that to erase this bitter sting
Might steal the pristine of that former blessing.
I don’t think he would ignore
A dependent link between his and ours –
Or refute that I write to him now on recycled paper,
Calendar dates for the day after day after day.
January 22, 2010