Adrian Louis

I'm in the waiting room
and you're in the magnetic resonance imager.
I guess they're photographing your soul
(or what remains of it)
but it doesn't take am MRI to discern
the red pentimento beneath
the fast-food landscape of Rapid City.

I slink out to sneak a smoke.
The lushness of ripe corn, Big Macs
and cowcrap blended onto the palette
of winter dusk and then brushed
over the red-necked symmetry
of these squat buildings cannot hide
the fact that this is Indian ground.
A night sky full of redmen died
so this arrogant city could thrive.
This small pimple on the white butt
of America is haunted, truly haunted
by the red ghosts of sunset, darling,
but waxing political is pointless.
And memory now seems nothing more
than the cruel glue that binds
mankind to God.
You're having your brain scanned
so we can know for sure
if you're spinning a cocoon
for your new empty mind.

© 1997 Adrian Louis. Ceremonies of the Damned, University of Nevada Press.

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