Discussion on Dust
Written By: Timothy B. Dodd
Crammed between giant Atacama dunes
and Pacific waves, old nitrate dries
and rusts in occasional photographs
and Pisagua pigeon shit. Dust, as our old
barons knew so well, invites herself
relentlessly — to ballrooms and brothels,
tea houses, cemeteries, and casino steps.
We smell of soot, too: from lingering dog
waste to stale urine dripping down building
corners and fish gills at market stalls. Still,
hopeful hands erect new statues: busts
of ex-mayors and mining winners, dead
masks of growth. True, few of us know
their names now, and even fewer stop
to introduce ourselves, but in confident
bronze they glare out to sea or down
the boulevard. Sometimes I stop to shake
their hands, tell them it’s okay: we’re all lost
thieves, dying in heat, our children’s hands
layered in rings eaten by eternal sand.
Timothy B. Dodd is from Mink Shoals, WV. His stories have appeared in Yemassee, Coe Review, Glassworks Magazine, and elsewhere; his poetry in The Roanoke Review, Ellipsis, Broad River Review, and other places. He is currently in the MFA program at the University of Texas El Paso.