Clean Slate
The problem is the infrastructure of dreaming has fallen
on hard times.  We want nothing so much as

the promise of Yucca Mountain, a sweating red
heart beating deep underground.  For this, we stockpile

dynamite, jackhammers.  We buy new hardhats
for the ribbon cutting.  We show up on the appointed

morning, but there are no photographers and no orange
coolers of ice water; we’ve been sold a scale model,

just a rectangular plot of packed earth.  The sun is a steady
acetylene torch.  It’s clear we each must dig and so

roll the sleeves of our dress shirts in unison past
our elbows.  Though we’re disappointed, it feels good

to swing a pickaxe, harpoon the ground with a shovel.
In the dullness of the work, we can almost imagine

the famed hanging gardens saturated with flowers.
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