Cathay Comes Quiet Flooding His Arms Wider

the thrust up past my legs and back
invisible sea

the brother gone
returned changed
blackened wight

the righteous carry
tarnished but standing tall
over these suns moving

the blackened buildings set against the sea
shadowed tight over my shoulder
where I’m from
the cut in
and blood
where use is burnt
to turn it holy
chucks tight under the sole
to flow beneath our road

still I came back a boy
horrified to see my family still alive
who is it now here in my home?
the spirit wanders but not so far
he stays inside to watch
for his brothers

crash landers reaching up
from the bough
diggers leering into the white

they say it’s just a man on a journey
wrapped up in the road
one of ours on hard times
this familiar shadow
standing under the trees

they won’t tell you where he came from
this vision over the asphalt
boots and backpack and thin luck

that behind that other world
trembling back
his arms unfolding
the music of your children yet unborn
who remember who we were

Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his work at Read other articles by Robin.