It is the tyrant’s custom to wear the sun under his wings, to show the sun when challenged in the pulse of aerial display. His tail cuts, not as the state cut the route
through the forest between the city and dam but as space cut and come together without a seam, the kind of cut that heals itself without a scar,
absolute rule which he reveals. He sits on the road signs (for curves, for speed, use caution please) in his territory, his mate lining a nest with cigarette filters
from the shoulders of the highway. The ore in this place has made man a king. Like law, like ore, a sun fits under the flycatcher’s wings.
The child sits on the flower with his mother, finger in his mouth, suspended in quiet water, insistent water where there never should have been a city, a lotus pillar, a crown, city underwater, dim.
The flower anchors underwater with a root as big as the mother’s arm and so the child becomes a god, his eyes the flowers, the right the sun, the left removed, replaced with the moon, something dimmer.
The mother anchors the child to the ground underwater, a continent the largest flower and all its names, water chinquapin, yancopin. The water, bear oil, moves slow where the city never should have been,
now a bend, a field, floodplain again, incandescent, the flowers with more than twenty petals. She grinds their seeds to flour. The child, his finger in his mouth, sits with his mother, all eyes from ground to flower where a city ends.
Angie Macri is the author of Underwater Panther, winner the Cowles Poetry Book Prize (Southeast Missouri State University), and Fear Nothing of the Future or the Past (Finishing Line Press). Her recent work appears in Cincinnati Review, Louisiana Literature, and Waccamaw. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs.