The First Human to Wear Gold

Out by the river, picking over driftwood

bleached like bone. Or digging in the earth

            for a succulent root,

                        when the light

once forged in an ancient star

is found. Nugget of fire from a neutron

            bomb so bright

                        that the sky still burns.

Now rolled in a palm. Set beside a mammoth

tusk carved and worn as a pagan charm,

            the pendant

                        gleams. Gold

in the heat of a dying

flame, how the eyes of a hunter will circle

            at dusk, hacking at meat

                        and honing blade,

waiting on sleep. When the lump of sun

will glow. Yellow

            in the hollow

                        of a naked throat.