The New World

Traci Brimhall

We see mountains first, the earth in conflict
with itself. Land of juggernauts, of mummies held
timeless in honey. We make circles around the clouds’

shadows on the ground, careless as wildflowers, reciting
minor revelations and the names of trees we've never seen.
A man builds a theater of snow and ruins it with salt.

A wild girl blunders out of the woods but returns
tearing at her dress and warbling the strange language
of foxes. Hallowed be this squandered country.

Even when we find pyrite in the streams we remain
faithful. Even when the shy wolverines come down
from the hills and carry away the paper birds,

pinned and spinning, above our beds. Still, the dark
forgives the sun its eagerness. The boy forgives the bull
that gored him. We believe because the night after

the birds were stolen, we woke up singing. We heal
whether we want to or not. Whenever we raise
our hands to the sky, they are filled with light.