Sherwin Bitsui


When we are out of gas,

a headache haloes the roof,

darkening the skin of everyone who has a full tank.


I was told that the nectar of shoelaces,

if squeezed hard enough,

turns to water and trickles from the caribou’s snout.


A glacier nibbled from its center

spiders a story of the Southern Cross,

twin brothers

dancing in the back room lit with cigarettes

break through the drum’s soft skin—


            Their bone faces atlas

                        a grieving century.



“ANWR” is from Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press, 2003).