|For Rimbaud in Africa
North star, when were you lost?
Dawn climbs calmly as water
up a well
then birdsong drops
the day's first note and ripples
divide in all directions---hounds lope by,
the trade in guns and coffee begins,
and still you keep your eye cocked
on the only weathervane in town. Gun-runner
on the run, desert con-man haggling
to buy back confidence, above your head,
among mackerel clouds, a rung-less rope ladder
Knock yesterday's stones from your boots
and slip them on.
Take this little dipper, thirsty traveler,
this compass needle
trembling on its post.
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