Operation Unicorn: Field Report

The unicorns are a technology
we cannot yet approximate.

Each silv’ry filament’s
worth a trillion fiber optics—

sensitive, intelligent, dense
with data, light as pi.

The natives name them rainbow-made
rapid-streaming over four-dimensional landscapes

wet with dawn. We observe
dappled midnight & moonlight,

sterling-indigo ripples
of energy, some silk

our instruments cannot yet measure.
They say from time to time a virgin

finds a gemstone tooth, a hoof of sapphire.
Upon inquiry, however, no such objects could be produced.

One operative following a lead
has disappeared, sending

two chaste missives in six months
scratched in bark:

1. The years are arbitrary scrawls
2. I have conquered the subterranean stairs

 

A-list, grade-b dreams

in a bright whitelife I am named harmony,
leap amphibious from genet to xena
effortless as xtc, party with glamour
girls in tinsel shreds, boys

with high draped cheekbones. no dawn
jackhammer disturbs my hangover, sunrise asanas
tone my ass, melon smoothies soothe
my throat whose linesfuel every lurker’s

drool. even my damage
is gorgeous & gothic; like a raven
I’ve fled it snot-free. in this life
past midnight I know I’ve failed

everything worthwhile—love, art—
as well as what’s useless—caches of money,
brood of eggs, songs
I might have learned once

but now can’t memorize, hum, or compose.
last night the girl who tried to kill herself came by
to pay back the rupees she owed. coated with shame
she smiled like a toad. I should have said,

I love you, I am you. instead
I winced like an owlet,
ate my salad of raw beef,
wondered what to tweet.

 

Photograph © Brooke Anderson

To Recall, To Praise
Song