Gold Star Family

the pothole sinks below my tire
under my chin where the engine gets in
I spin slow the golden thread
now lost

inside Wal-mart
the homeless shout their offers
9 dollars for shoes
8 dollars for almonds
don’t look at the scanner

above the city
our monuments surrender their light

she’s driving calm up Country Club
Golden Car
sacrificed once–
no, twice
once in memory
once in forget

in Iraq
but in Arcadia
in Cathay

the Great Wall
extending from the Punjab to the Aleutians
and then into our corner
of the United States
not of America
but Tartary

The Golden Horde

this star of Venus
this son of Jason

her light hair back in a bun
young for thirty
thirty generations back
the license plate leaves off one letter for the star

my sons laid under the rails

they say the red star was a farmer’s charm
long before communism
its bleeding edges
just the rust of well-used equipment
Aphrodite Urania’s
crop-worn thighs

the plastic bag
like a cheap condom
clings to my hand
over the tarmac
where my heart spins
the pockmarked canyon rises steep into heaven
Cathedral Peak
watching the light spin past my face
where I slept

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