The thing about an excuse
is that any will do.
Each seed, each star-part—lopsided & flown
past monocrops of almond trees:
Seasons fated as the water—
as the faculties
of reason—the river of the mind itself—
A body chastened in its blue routines.
Unempty actual & polluted air.
Truckloads full of frantic pollinators
transported across a barren land of buttes & windstorms into Sacramento,
past golf courses and lofts thrown up,
of foreclosures, sinkholes,
noon-timed sprinklers that overflow the pavement,
mackle, rebar—bright dust & char—blind light that rots the cholla
which cracks the blacktop’d topsoil
Another flyblown cattle-field.
One bee, heavy with its cargo, levitates above a dry lake, then lowers itself into a hive.
The saddle of every open flower
invites a miracle.
Smog above the cloverleaf,
a land once honey-filled; now the overkill, the sold-out out-
of an empire’s
firewall: the scentless smolder
within each straw-gold patch of ground.
What strange thing have we been changing
Will Cordeiro has work appearing or forthcoming in Best New Poets, Blue Earth Review, Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, Fourteen Hills, Nashville Review, [PANK], Phoebe, Poetry Northwest, Salamander, Sycamore Review, The Threepenny Review, Sycamore Review, Zone 3, and elsewhere. His chapbooks are Reveries and Opinions of Mr. Figure (RDP, 2016) and Never-never (White Knuckle, 2017). He also co-edits the small press Eggtooth Editions. He is grateful for a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a scholarship from Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Truman Capote Writer’s Fellowship, as well as residencies from ART 342, Blue Mountain Center, Ora Lerman Trust, Petrified Forest National Park, and Risley Residential College. He lives in Flagstaff and teaches in the Honors College at Northern Arizona University.