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The St. Jo River whirling full around
the South Bend rich and dark as a negresse
en chemise
bedaubed with cochineal:
mauve, purple tinting the water
from the Odilon Redon sun setting.

As we drove, the sunset fell over “The Goats” in Peru, Indiana
and a crescent moon came up the color of tamarind.

By day, the steppes, the steppes, the steppes!
Mile on mile of flat corn and scattered copses
where Europeans turn into well-off peasantry.
Land! The whole shot through with vacancy.
And yet, poetry lies in a painting of merest normalcy.

—Anthony Kerrigan