What a different world it might have been
were it not for the man
who stepped out of the wind
shaped the way our dreams had always shaped him.
What hues might have blazed, if not for his fire-
colored cloak and bronze shield, charcoal hair
and copper skin? We remember now his smile
curling up, smoke-thin, from the lid of a scowl,
how he watched us watch him, all the while
gauging our hands, as we passed our one eye
beneath our gray wings. The exact moment we lost
sight of him remains uncertain; under the pregnant
clouds that impound our land there is only this
sudden, heartsick wonder: in a careless
moment one might blindly trade
the world into a stranger's hand.