PHILIP RICE

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Kansas

They say it's flat here,
but all I see is endless
windmills dotting the hillsides
making the sign of the cross—
with white papal arms,
crucify me at 75 miles per hour—

and cattle, black as coal,
dotting the hillsides along
each tree-lined edge of
field—golden, green, gray-purple
flash-flooding my eyes
even through closed eyelids,

and oil wells dotting the hillsides,
bowing in thanks to the grain
again and again while the windmills—
at the end of each spinning
spindle a zymblestern bell—
toll the death-knells.