Arjuna looked across the sunken road,
at his brothers and his teachers,
gathered for the slaughter.
And he turned to chariot driver, and asked,
“Great teacher, show me America.”
And Uncle Sam pulled down his beard,
and in the gun barrels of his eyes, Arjuna saw
the Vegas Strip and the pre-dawn hunt of the Lenni Lenape,
the shade of mountains on the Colorado River,
the thousand-and-one colors of the Kwik-E-Mart.
His lips shot off fireworks and wrote the blogosphere;
jewels of sweetgrass and petroleum,
gems of methamphetamines and glutamate hung from
skin as radiant as the fires beneath the space shuttle.
in her multiple arms, ze held the first flight of the airplane,
and a mournful trumpet in the French quarter,
and Harriet Tubman making her way North, and back South again,
and the atom bomb,
and beef brisket, and the first sight of Ellis Island,
and the steps Coyote made for the Salmon people,
and the runoff of Dow Chemical,
and a man, lynched under a tree,
and the local school board elections.
All this, and more, Arjuna saw, in a single muzzle flash.
Afterward, he sat upon the ground.
“Get up now,” said the charioteer,
“Enter the field, and find what glory you can.”