Into the hushed rustle of red dust,
A buzzing—a noise in slow zigzags

Above the saltgrass and saxifrage
Until it alights like a winged shard

Of spring, a slick greenbottle fly whose green
To this red desert brings the lazy drowse

Of pastoral afternoons. And O! the willows
Thicket in the sand with the loose-limbed bravura

Of riverbank groves, their waxy switches
Spritzed with dust-vermillion. The God of ancient plagues,

Of blowflies swarming from the Nile to crust
The eyes and mouths of the cursed,

God of wandering in the waste
Forty famine years, until the cows are hide-bare and ribby

And the heart is trudged past bitterness to humble,
Must be appalled at this benign inheritance,

Affront to the idea of desert. He of all should know
How perfection keeps itself aloof, disdains

That poor unlucky who would love it.
How desolate an exile beauty makes.