Red Shuttleworth, Galveston Island, 1976
Lightning slices above Texas City,
the refineries and Dairy Queens.
Our dining room table is a table cloth
spread over a dozen cases of Lone Star.
A piano is rolled into a field.
The land has been unzipped.
Two men stand on the piano
& count oil wells.
We send out invitations,
but only piano keys arrive.
We send out appeals,
but we can only smell
an overheated radiator.
What muscles the land has,
a violence of separation.
A window flies across a pasture.
This poem first appeared in Southwest Review, edited by Margaret Hartley, in the summer of 1979.