The Remains of Amelia Earhart

Filed in Poems

It is not that I do not believe
in mystery. Just this morning I sat
blank and primitive under diurnal
shade, all recessive, nameless
the soft warming friction, dark on light.
Something untouchable blows overhead:
cloud of leaf imprintable;
the head is sensible to its effects.

It is that instead I believed
all uncompleted possibilities sealed;
we know all we would know
in time—the final stone had been thrown
into the final cave, the final ancient scrolls
procured, all that remained, translation. Having flown
in the sun longer than the sphinx,
we knew all we would not know,
wise to being none the wiser, never.

So when they found personal effects—
freckle removal cream (her natural weakness;
no one knew upon her vanishing
she still anointed herself with vanishing)
a woman’s shoe, the tobacco her navigator
preferred—the difficult article of faith was not
Amelia is found but Amelia, so long
visible, just now has been found

What does such an article mean
for the man of panoptic faith—the man
of global positioning, astrology finally turned over,
the sky’s chart of the earth compasses-marked,
fashioned with planes and satellites
and silicon seerstones; the man of commissioned
soldiers looking grainy-green through night vision
goggles into the desert for enemies of his state;
the man of all healings’ eventuality, looking grainy-green
at the golden tablature of toxicology reports,
at men as Christmas trees walking; the man of wide,
ballistic, compassionate precision; the man
of universal application, the phrenological sweep
of his finger across his handheld screen,
divining his world no bigger than a hazelnut?
Is not this thing in my right hand

All that can be seen has been should
be seen. Saint Anthony lies dead
on some island—doesn’t he? Pray

tell, Amelia: How long after the crash
must a grounded flying woman hold
her personal effects before the sun
or lesser searchlights bleach articles
to artifacts to facts to nothing? Why
has this your atlas been so difficult
for searching men in searchable times?
Why have men searched for you,
the lost lady adventurer, like a city
of gold from whom the blemishes
like darkened pixels have vanished? Whose pacific
tide fogs your landing strip? Whose the right
of way? What kind of faith is yours,
blessed Saint Amelia, your pacific
elusion of god knows
how many flyovers since yours
the most visible vanishing—yours the lesson
in instrumental failure, yours the call
to the man of panoptic faith
to consider new articles and become
newly sensible to the inconclusive?