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Heavenly Accounting

The people before us moved

with the grace of nomads, packing up

their small language and grinning

for the textbooks. The older I get

the more I think about my own mortality

rate, but you mustn’t blame yourself

for missing the rat-flea nexus;

it was a full bar, after all,

and the bride and groom were no strangers

to demographics. Certainly,

counting wheat is one alternative

to the lyric, but if I were you

and the President called to apologize,

I would explain that camp is a word,

like congress, with many meanings.

Of course, you can’t change the world

without legal-size paper, but try telling

the Karen from the Kareni.

The people before us moved.

This is their museum.

The sunlight is mostly indigenous.


Matthew Brogan

Matthew Brogan's is a poet and the executive director of Seattle Arts & Lectures.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR-MAY 2003

All Issues