In Death Valley I thought about styles of hairdo

In Death Valley I thought about styles of hairdo,
About a hand that shifted spotlights at the Student’s Ball
In the city from which no voice could reach me.
Minerals did not sound the last trumpet.
There was only the rustle of a loosened grain of lava.

In Death Valley salt gleams from a dried-up lake bed.
Defend, defend yourself, says the tick-tock of the blood.
From the futility of solid rock, no wisdom.

In Death Valley no hawk or eagle against the sky.
The prediction of a Gypsy woman has come true.
In a lane under an arcade, then, I was reading a poem
Of someone who had lived next door, entitled “An Hour of Thought.”

I looked long at the rearview mirror: there, the one man
Within three miles, an Indian, was walking a bicycle uphill.

-Czeslaw Milosz

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