for Charles Wright
It's sluice & sieve this side of the mountain today,
it's TNT & hill heave, & a long slide,
until this side is the other.
Appalachia's a green speck in the eye
of God, a speck man's been working to remove
for the past century or two,
but for now it's dust in our teeth,
it's a missing mountain shoulder
& a missing vowel in our mouths.
Still, I'd like to see the sluice rise for once,
& the Flesh drift back to Word,
if I had words to describe itódebris settling
on a river's hairpin turn now, the sound of the world falling
back to the world. I'd like to see the coal dust transfigure
into someone whose name is beyond me
(dust still high in the sunlight),
someone too radiant to recognize,
who will speak when I don't know which side I'm on.