First World


Would that thanes swim.
Would they float? Be held
by briniest hands. The Indian Ocean,
glass beads, littoral China all in a line
moving inward. I buy stamps
to stave off more unfreedom
inadequately in my already backwater.
What is mine isn’t. Gold circumnavigates.
Where it grows the neighbors are trying to find out.
The gold plants Ibn al-Faqīh described in Ghana,
growing underground, plucked out like carrots,
but the fruit we plant doesn’t fruit for us,
it flutters shiny eyelashes, vanishes, a flirt.
Thanes, I’m sure you can relax. 
The water is rising and you will be held
by briniest hands inherited from the earth.

Matt Broaddus is the author of the chapbook Two Bolts (Ugly Duckling Presse). His poetry has appeared in Fence, The Rumpus, and Pigeon Pages. He is Associate Poetry Editor at Okay Donkey Press and lives in Colorado.