Promised Land

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Above, in a fat tree, jumping from branch to branch, the parrots have luminous blue wings, chirping until they stop to rest. In South America, the heat muffles all the sounds except the pinching of the cicadas, rubbing against the wood, highlighting the green of the ferns and fading the memory of the emerald stones. Hidden under the sun, the land still is a treasure for pirates and outlaws. Once upon a time, the amusement park was built into the village, and the natives were domesticated. Now the trail is full of tourists, who take a break in the walk to scrub their shirts in the waters, cooling their minds. The river’s long and smooth current steals the shadows from the sun, curving like a snake.

Poem published in Westview.