Ode to the Common Aggressor

All Beale treasure hunters of Bedford County
are ciphers deciphering ciphers, as were
Sequoyah, swatting the flames from his burning alphabet,
a reading too literal for the fable;
and St. Thomas Quetzalcoatl, returning to wherever was new,
a fable read too loud to be literal.

There have been uncountable amounts of people
who have hidden treasures and who have searched for treasures,
those who have given names and those who have
repeated the named things into presence.
They stud our landscapes like glimmering gems, aside from
names like Henry Flagler and John Hopkins.

It’s those names which toss counties up like coins,
and move mysteries between markets like denim.
With their great searchlights, the Moses Cones
close the caverns before the dark is all felt out,
and they left us a little more hollow for it.

So name this thing after the treasure hunter
who left his wife and fortune to enliven an old hoax.
Name this thing for the sucker we wrung to fill our cups
with the bitter dividends of dumb mistakes.
They are our industrialists par excellence; our gilded chagrinists!
May they make us shift our weight once more.

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