Issue 31, Winter-Spring 1964
If we go back, if we walk into the old darkness.
And find Washington brooding under the long bridges,
We will find the dead still ablaze in the anguish of the egg,
The screams of Indians echoing in the compression chambers
Or disappearing into the tunnels of flashlights,
Mexicans falling, and soap buried alive.
Strange sugarbeets are living deep in the history books,
Sugarbeets that give blood, stones
That migrate, leaving cries among the stars,
Frozen ward-heelers crawling in the icy gutters.
To say our history is liberty after liberty is a lie:
We have a history of horse-beaters with red moustaches
Knocked down by a horse and bitten.
We have a history of a wife howling at a husband
To buy more, and buy more land, later
Rationing him to a pint of whiskey and five cigars a day;
Of land pyramided with mortgages and lost,
Of a dark fire burning soddenly in the finger tips,
Fingers that turn over deeds, fingers on fire,
Fingers that would light the sky if lifted at night.