Swiftly in forests, the zebra,
Slowly the Mississippi;
Zebras are by the Mississippi,
Not so by, but by.
Where the palm-tree waves slowly in heat, with many-colored, little live things all about, green, orange, pink, black, purple, red and all,
O, do say, the Mississippi flows slowly.
Hell, is not the same moon over zebras and the Mississippi?
Put zebras by the Mississippi.
Put ichneumons by the Mississippi.
Put the Mississippi anywhere.
Put zebras where you like.
Put palm-trees in New York state.
The moon's over all.
The moon's not so big.
Zebras are by the Mississippi.
Purple's by the Mississippi.
Anywhere's anywhere, anywhere's everywhere.
Put zebras by the Mississippi; O, do.
From Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems (Definition Press)
© 1956 by Eli Siegel