100th Meridian

Ryan Clark


A line boundary is a stern boundary. Unearth it.

You could see successive lines and surfaces

marking it, dirty map-lashed notation

of large enamel laces licked off our teeth.

This is true location, a fitting of braces

keeping shape under the rust of prairie;

a line notating stillness where there is none.

A gauge of the where of the Plains―the west edge

of us as lineated here―is long and covered,

the branded face we see drawn in corrections.

You see the wind in dirt carried over sound,

in the shuffling eyes-shut way you walk

through it. I need the trust of home in a line

I touch when I feel for a fitted western border,

so I talk in very precise measurements

and place cement markers every two-thirds

of a mile for one hundred thirty-four miles

underneath whatever state or county

to roughly reflect what the 100th Meridian is—

a solvent that lingered as a form

to explain what is redrawn over us.