Dreaming American
by Brandon Cesmat

Trying not to be the white ring around the sun,
I circle slowly like a raven over Mt. Soledad
where you sing down the sky.

The man thinks a disguise of beads and weavyings,
but I think otherwise, and being like a raven,
I want to call out but have the voice of adobe bricks stacking.

On this morning after a winter storm,
let your eyes follow my turn away from the Pacific,
you'll see the Cuyamcas rise higher than I can fly.

I listen to your words that would make a man fall from the sky,
so I try to be a raven to follow your sound
east to Tempe or Albuquerque,
into the desert where you will work your life
like an olla, the mouth pouring
the precious water from the cool, quiet dark
and into the dry light. I would be the man
who waits with the patience of a boulder in
the golden desert light for water to bring
out the flecks of mica in my skin.

One world slams into the other so hard.
I can hear the rumbling from the quarry
and under the river's surface. In the Next World,
I want your voice to crease this desert where we know
who we are, and a black freeway
hisses east to west, and we love nevertheless.

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