July/Aug 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 4 |

壤 / Soil

Brigham Young to General Dodge, Union Pacific, 1869 The locusts’ hum, at first, was like a line of flame, then the air burst into reds, silver-edged and filled with mouths like snapping scissors. They ate our wheat, blacked out the skies until the falling bodies settled like a fog over Great Salt Lake, the carcasses brined to a black and growing wall. We thought the soil here was rich. But who knew how rare rich was, how terribly fragile, and how temperamental we’d become trying to sustain these plots too alkaline to keep a crop alive. Nothing natural but made in the beauty of this place. To create a home, we imported trees and water, we slashed and burned to excavate a state where nothing lived, nothing ruled us, and yet in all this nothing we were subject to the rules nothingness demanded and allowed, which requires every drop of blood from our bodies, all that we might plant and tend and love; that demands all might still be taken from us and fed to the abyss, not the faith

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Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, and three books of poetry, A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, and The Invention of the Kaleidoscope. Her newest book of poems, Imaginary Vessels, will be published in October 2016.

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埋 / Bury

By Paisley Rekdal

Brigham Young to General Dodge, Union Pacific, 1869 The locusts’ hum, at first, was like a line of flame, then the air burst into reds, silver-edged and filled with mouths […]

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