If you have been to The Badlands

You have not been to the Moon.

You have orbited your tongue

       and explored its dark side—


You are visiting soft

Earth for the first time.

You are watching clouds

Snap shut like a jaw

Biting the lip of mountain

       you just climbed.


And like a pebble budding legs,

You are speechless...

You are taking one

Giant leap and landing

A kiss on the cracked

Lips of the lonesome

       and hungry world.





"Fieldwork" was first published on the website of The Badlands National Park, South Dakota.