John Casteen

Meditation Over Prairie

If you don’t hear from me, everything’s fine.
In pressurized, recumbent air, trans-continental,
38,000 feet above the fruited plain, America
I bring you truer sustenance than food. Careful,
careful; everything here happens in the present tense.
The word forgetful has no opposite but instinct:
ketone stench of ditch-deer, ditch-dog. Souring.
Each humiliation, each indecisive moment.
Up here, clear skies. If you want to live, then live
a lonesome creed. The heads of my people sway
and bob in unison, celebrants, penitents, congregants
in accident. If I write against anything, I write against
my will. Dark matter, dark energy; most of what there is
we’ll never see. Sunspots. At each border of the nation
of language, cross and cross alone. When it pleased
me to dwell for a time among people, I entered. I went.


John Casteen