Meghan L. Martin

Only two of us remain. Each, properly bewildered and waiting on wooden toes. We look for you on the horizon. We never speak. We stand for nothing. We cannot remember what led to this. The first tree to lift our spirit. The lie from which to carve a proper physique. Now we grow for the sake of growing. Even the shape of this mustache. Even this top hat, which I had professionally extended. Even these pleats, which I refuse to upset. But maybe this is all simply one long good-bye in the custom of Sonoran romance. Or maybe you're only in it for the fan mail. The fame and the gifts. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but the boxes are hollow, and though their needles are still sharp, all the cacti are sleeping.








Inspired by a Philip C. Curtis painting called “The Gift Bearers,” “The Next American Pioneer” was part of a music, poetry and visual arts collaboration performed at the Phoenix Art Museum in April of 2009. Here's a link to the string quartet that accompanied the poem: [here]. And here's a link to some more of the composer's music:[here]