Sing sandstone strata, erosion, sere and serene. Sing wind stripped layer and layer; stone simplified to sand. Sing cyclones in canyons, American djinnis whirled passageways thru rock laid down, pressed thin year, year, year. Sing umber and sienna, sepia and ochre. Sing copper and gallium, molybdenum and potash. Sing water undrinkable, shade of a juniper bush. Sing balancing rocks, arches, chipmunks and a land hostile to humans which we insist ourselves into, leave our marks on: handprints in stone, a cabin dug half into the ground, roads and ranger stations, bones bleached and crumbled.

BRIAN SPEARS is poetry editor of The Rumpus. His first collection of poems, A Witness in Exile, is forthcoming from Louisiana Literature Press, and his poems have appeared in Quarterly West, and The Southern Review, among other journals. He was a Stegner Fellow from 2003-2005 and currently teaches literature and creative writing at Florida Atlantic University.