Not Necessarily at Rest

Rocks stacked at corners of a squatter’s camp,
colored bottles hanging from a tree.
Broken oyster shells
lining a dirt walkway to match the hems
of clouds trundling their gossip
over open-air markets toward the sea.

How can they not be flattered
at our puny attempts at beauty — the gods
who look down, the dead
who sometimes look up? Yearning works
through us, whiskers to tail, the way
a yawning cat converts stretching into praise.

Lance Larsen, author of Erasable Walls, teaches at Brigham Young University. He received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry in 2007.