Portrait with Smeared Centuries

I begin the day like any other
day: a decade staring back

in the rearview mirror
of the wrecked pickup truck: you

standing so tall you’re already
headless: until I turn around

the cornfield blurs into the torn
edges of an atlas: pull your hands

out from under me to anoint this god-
given country of yours: mottled bones

singing the anthem of a star-
spangled nation: this land

given enough time to list its own
possibilities: atrocities

like a blade of dusk resting
on my throat, I bruise: by standing

I practice the sacred: & kneel
how the body was built

toward the bottomless insides
of ghosts: the small of my back

the sacrum: they say, the five
disciples with pocked faces

unlike your self-inflicted gunshot
but a single entryway: an emptiness

full of faith: rise to me as only you
would after god has left

you with these entrance wounds
with no way out: the purpling field

that goes on & on: recognizable
as a heartbeat: a century-

long orbit around a cage
of stained glass: broken, you

gather me in your image
of failed flesh: piecing mirror

after mirror back together through
the night until nobody forgets: one

hundred years of this landscape behind
& before us continues to stir — even if

the earth under our knees, under every
American sky, had been turning west-

ward for centuries.