Monday, July 12, 2021

Vectors by Arthur Sze


First extinction in the Galápagos Islands, the least vermillion flycatcher—
Hopis drill a foot deep and plant blue corn along a wash—
Danger, a woman brushed on the side of a napalm bomb—
in an oblong box emptied of firewood, a black-widow web—
shaving, he nicked himself and stared in the mirror in a moment of blood—
out of a saddlebag, a teen pulls a severed goat’s head—
before signing his name, he recalls hotel rooms were once used as torture chambers—
in Thessaloniki, the beach attendant made a gun of his hand and fired at him—
prisoners cackled when the inmate onstage said, “Is it not time for my painkiller?”—
weighing mushrooms, the Tibetan cashier grins, “You suffer from suspicion; I suffer from kindness”—
a mercenary turned car mechanic spilled a pile of Krugerrands onto the table—
looking up from a tusk under the lamp, the carver smiled, “It’s butter in my hands”— 

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