Citizen to Citizen

Laurie Saurborn Young

Divested of my objecthood, still I think it tender —


How Candide scrawled sweet Cunégonde’s


Name in the trees. Small porcelain selves, what to do


With the particularly cohesive dust we are?


Sol fecit means the sun made it.


Made it like my sister, crawling down the laundry chute


In a bid to elude cowboys and Indians.


My sister who becomes the geologist


Watching our grandparents’


Ashes as they catch in rhododendrons


Growing thick at Sandburg’s Lake.


At higher elevations, a loose dog becomes


Two crows stalking through a winter-bare field.


A woman spreading her legs becomes she’s asking for it.


A lucky penny and a pregnancy test become two


Falling stars, ten years later. Oh culture


Teaching us to pornographify the slightest smile.


Oh culture teaching us to point at our own


Bruised bodies and laugh —


Descartes said to start with doubt


In this country we occupy, whatever its terms.


A dancer aimed like a thunderbolt floats gently down.


Citizen, the sun made it. Meaning, it escaped.

about the author