Daily Archives: May 17, 2022

Happiness Above Angel Fire

The brand name
of a new psychiatric medication
floats in the commercial air
over a valley on the TV

I think I recognize
from a long ago trip
to the Enchanted Circle
of New Mexico.

Under that in parentheses
a generic name like a second,
awkward bird overflying the green valley 
in the bowl of the mountains.

It’s probably not
the valley I remember
of course. Too long ago
to be certain. Too many

prescriptions of my own
between the enchantment
of that place and these latest 
pills to promise more. 


They settle.
It’s what they do.
“Colonial” now is just
a settled style, a label
for what to them is 
a quaint moment
in their past. “Frontier”
is a counter spell
they’ve settled on
to counteract
the miasma around
“genocide.”“Antebellum” prettifies
their mouths and settles
raw old acid in their stomachs,
and “settler” itself is now nobler
and sweeter than history
would suggest. 

They tell me to leave it alone,
say it’s just a way of speaking,
aren’t you tired of talking as if
it’s so damn deadly out here?
Settle down and look at the lovely eclipse
or something more or less not
killing you or those you love right now.
So much beauty in the world. So much
to be said for that, you one-note note taker
on the warped order of the settled places;

try speaking instead of what you think
of the sparrows and starlings. Speak of how they settle
on the feeders or the ground to eat and eat 
and shit and eat some more, of how they do it all
so natively you’d think they were here all along.
Settle in, half-breed; after all, you look like you could belong.
Find some beauty round here and act like 
you are the poet we know you can be and watch 
the sun come up over the old farm pastures
where the surveyors and diggers have yet to roam.