david hadbawnik





The locals told us not much ever

and refused to trade glass beads

for corn or copper for wheat

and we died that winter, simply

and awfully. Of course we stole,

lied, killed, hacked the world

down to a few lines of smoke

and sizzling flesh, stumbled across

the frozen river hoping any live

color would bloom. And felt our own skin

shrivel into flakes and fragments that

held sky up to sky. No wonder Smith

staggered out of the woods, the name Pocahontas

a whisper ripped in air.


* first and last lines taken alternately from poems in Catherine Barnett’s Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced and James Galvin’s X.










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