Theory of Audacity

California the city always with its beehive hair

over the ridge,

pew pew of birds pinging their locations,

and California houses standing on one foot on the hills

in matching hats

the styles of various revivals.

I have gone out to let things gather around me.

In the Barocci painting, Aeneas stands among things

to be shed as skin:

a wife, the rectangular walls of his home,

the city itself with its empty watchtower and

the tide of Greeks already erasing the shoreline.

The roads swerving up through the foothills like fingers traced through sand.

Whereas with him he brings

the little son covering his ears.

A single tall stem extends skyward, its head bursting into white.

They still want the machine images to confirm:

the eggs keep falling inside.

The question is whether I am the jackrabbit taking in

the morning shade through his ears

or the trees frantically waving their bloated hands around him,

lacing their seeds into the ground with prayer.

Things are different if you are always in sunglasses,

like darker but more bearable.

California dumb with its glass buildings pressing their noses against each other.

California the vinyl flooring over the ground already drained.

When Aeneas was drawn out from the city walls

he went

to preserve his line.

To what end. How long before we

adopt the swift-dense footpads of the lizards?

This child’s feet held always to the fire.

On the highway due east, the first tumbleweed lopes

before me with a sign in its hands.

There is no future, it says. I’ve told you this before.