emergency almanac - summer 2003
 And North of Beaumont

by Anastasios Kozaitis

How the mapmakers surreptitiously come down on their papers
To fever a matrix with colors for the blind,
Who know human remains when they see them concentrating
On a riverbed eventually to demarcate on a map
Of exigencies. They’ll find some encoded skin to type a face
That once filled out an orange astronaut suit, or so
The papers will say. The dead define cosmotopos
And put their things there where the dogs will sniff them out
Under the lines of flight paths, debris maps, Doppler images
Tracking land just south of Elysian Fields and north of San Augustine.

Seven boys and girls fall out of the sky.
The listening lost Columbia’s sound
Just west of Fort Wayne. Mechanical rains
Descend upon a route from Dallas to New Orleans as loving others
while states away;

The City of God we never built
Catches martyr-full rains. The trees extend what
Innocent arms the droughts have not removed about
Their trunks snatching airy crashing vestiges.
A topogenesis commences
And the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing before it fell down through the sky
To build a nest of fiercely tinted dots for the draftsmen.