Glenn Bach

from Atlas

About this light: a million dirty moons
in the sweaty air, a thousand cattle in the hills.

Cat shriek, overspill of TV just out of ear-
shot, breakers of traffic in the cool still.

Palms never sleep as buildings roll on ball
bearings, coils thick as twisted torsos sway

like reeds in the dusty breeze of the big one—
—quakes hop-scotch across faults as P waves

rearrange the topography: down suddenly
and sideways: liquefied soil like so many

drunk molecules or strings of energy shifted
into new social circles. Concrete loses to weeds

of rising rents in L.A., of the lifeless air within
this structure, rugs over carpets below stairs

worn in patterns, in pathways, in dark streaks
down the middle of each freeway lane.

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