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If it is true that the earth respires,
That it speaks only to those
Who command nothing—

If it is true that the first man
Was fashioned of corn.
Of divine shit. Of dust—

If a bale of cotton—

If color is trance,
And trance is to ride the back
Of the first great bird
In first flight—

If the world has ended twelve times—

If the atom is cognizant, coy;
If light is both pow-wow
And tango—

If, at the final trumpet,
Oil magnates will kiss the ankles
Of earth-caked girls who traipse
Along the highway’s edge,
Hugging the mountain
When trucks barrel past—

If Satchmo. If Leadbelly—

If wind on the horizon,
Thundering the trees,
Making all of our houses small—

Tracy K. Smith, from “The Nobodies”
November 16th
Tags: Tracy K. Smith, Tracy Smith, Nobodies, earth, nothing, uncommanding, first man, first great bird, apocalypse, world end, final, oil magnates, mountain, thundering, small,
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