Five Ways to Read a Village
Sam Kemp

On the edge of Sanctuary 
the kiss of skulls, falling 
against their own parameters 
               toothless in the lilies. 
               The perfume of
               pagans and traders, layering
               the valley’s lips
               in gutter water, when down in the meadows  
                               deep ribs throb with fox scat. 

I undress the rickmaking 
               with two Focke-wulfs 
               coming low through the turn
               of new light and shadow 
                               the metal of page. 

You, canister, from the Baedeker raid 
               claim your crater, phosphorous 
               among the Burdock, knowing 
               only the burden of white on water 
                                                 muffled then choked. 

Stolen, foul
               of moon 
               falling through purple, shades 
               in lieu of payment 
the ploughmen clattering home.