Gila Bend (James Dickey)

Gila Bend

Where aerial gunnery was, you think at first a cadaver

          On foot might get through

     Forty years after. Shorts of space pelter back

Off the dead bullets; walking, you should brand, brand
        The ground but you don't: you leave

      Not a thing moving on a sand mountain
     Smashed flat by something that didn't know
     What else to do.
          This silver small-stone heat
       No man can cross; no man could get

            To his feet, even to rise face-out

Full-force from the grave, where the sun is down on him

             Alone, harder than resurrection

          Is up: down harder
          Much harder than that.

—James Dickey
—found in The Eagle’s Mile

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