Strangers found them belly-up. Their barbed mouths were
as if they had tried to draw down great gulps of air.
Every man-Jack of them
was a Xerox copy of blood-red ventrals.
Before you go, she said, I will tell you all that I know.
Aside from the oil, the gold and the diamonds,
you will be like a man who suddenly sees through a gap
where the poor pound hoes into parched land, their one hope
to survive all this, to come through hunger and be thankful.
that I raced in my sleep
to the sound of the long-tom
the dollar and the rocker:
dredges whose nozzles, buried in deep,
flushed out jewels
from alluvial beds
to pay off debts
Seeing the burst
escape from the dam,
I ran and I ran
to the river-run:
I watched the dross
choke the drains,
its pulse like blood
in the seams of veins
and my heart pounded
at the empty drums
alert with the fear