Maritime Conquest at 6 a.m.
the appalachians hum themselves awake
as the rock faces are stripped of splotchy ink;
skylines ripple out of the midnight & into
the altostratus. recede the alpenglow mist
beneath a veil of fog & a flock of crows will grip
the altitude white-throated–clip their wings
& they ooze out secrets. wash your sinner’s hands
in the dewy rain before you bleach their beaks.
dip frail bodies into the restigouche,
burrow your capillaries with the salmon
so you can watch them swim upstream,
scales dyeing the freshwater basin red.
what makes slitting open the valleys easy is you,
crowning yourself king of the evergreens:
o tyrant who collapsed the wide-toothed sierra,
ravaging a kingdom that was never there.
(Text © Stephanie Chang - Publication: August/September 2017)