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America # 3

The deserts respect time.
See how they meditate, the stones.
The sands are discrete disciples,
shifting over the bones of the master,
with insolence.
The climax of the artifice is in the azure-
total landscape without points of departure.
A crease becomes an etching:
Turn it over and you have a desert. A canvas
by Monet close-up, from behind -- but
without color, without waterlilies, without beginning.
Let the coyote observe us, let it lay down
among the stones that never ask us anything,
let the maps be lost, erased.
We have lost all sense of direction: everywhere a road.
A cactus is distracted counting roadrunners.
See its dust crossing the landscape.
The echos we release do not return.

(Translated by C. Connelly)