Visions of Durant, OK by Cullen Whisenhunt

who loned it through the streets in Idaho seeking visionary indian
angels who were visionary indian angels
—Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”

I saw him today, Allen.

Saw him as I blew
down Enterprise Boulevard
like an eastern wind.
Saw him framed above
the road in the unbroken
but backlit clouds.
Saw him in ragged blue jeans,
work boots, neon green
construction tee shirt, and smudge
of white helmet with
Choctaw Nation stamp.

Saw him with two great crane necks
rising up behind, sprouting
from his back like wing
spine mast poles waiting
to unfurl, pressing
the sky higher and higher
on hydraulic pistons,
freeing us to breathe and fly
and stoop no more.
Saw him like a new Coyote
trickster god, polycultural,
polyperson, vertex
of tribe and industry, holding
cedar sapling with one palm
and backhoe at bay
with another.
Saw him like titan Atlas,
with raw shoulders standing tall
on muddy mountain spine of Mother Earth.

Saw him later, hopscotching
railroad ties, just this side
of Arkansas in bleak light,
trafficky, kicking gravel
in flip-flops in dead winter,
Saw him with gothic trees
snaking up behind
to screen silhouette
of smokestack steeple.
Saw him with cigarette, puff-puffing
like the engine he watched screech
away, wondered what
he wondered while he wandered,
he in undershirt and sweats,
with mustache penciled,
too dark to mark his complexion.

Saw him on 7th, too, on
asphalt parking lot,
dancing in technicolor
costumes to Spanish music.
Saw him as many
children, circling up, holding hands,
dancing, singing, rehearsing.

Saw the both of him
hugging, being hugged
out on the front porch,
twisting high on Conversed toes,
blue jeaned and sweatered,
star ankled and starry eyed
behind glasses over a shoulder
and around the dark
hood of a brother,
prodigal perhaps,
or always there and loved
just the same.

Saw her squeeze
her smile into his
chest, under long hair,
peeking at the road, at who
might be watching, daring them,
daring all of us,
to say, or to love,
anything, this much,
this sure, this certain.

I saw him, Allen,
saw the visionary indian
angel that you sought.
I saw him, and he was everything
you never promised
and nothing more,
But nothing less, too