by Don Russ
North CarolinaState Archaeological Site 31JK3
The heavens mapped? The spent mind
of a wanderer mapped back upon his silent sky,
the starry signs and tracks of light he said
he dreamed again last night?
Who knows? Who now will ever know?
A book of life? Some laying out of sacred lands?
The laws of tutelary giants and gods for those
who left this quiet place behind?
We stand here knowing all we’ve lost
in these rubbed and rounded hills, where drained
a still-enciphered sky a thousand thousand
years before the acid rain.
Don Russ is author of Dream Driving (Kennesaw State University Press) and the chapbooks Adam’s Nap (Billy Goat Press) and World’s One Heart (The Next Review). His poem “Girl with Gerbil” was chosen for inclusion in The Best American Poetry 2012 after it appeared in The Cincinnati Review.