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The sun is warm, the wind is cold

I’ll sleep on the floor of a drained ocean
in the shadow of a once jagged
coastline.

And I’ll dream of you sometime
between dark and night
While the Air Force drills
for nuclear war
somewhere between
Laramie and Big Springs.

Abandoned churches and deserted graveyards

I recognize the way she walks, arms stiff at her sides; the way she sits down, heavily and with a sigh. She looks sad. Sitting there in the blazing sun, waiting for a city bus to take her somewhere she doesn’t want to go. It’s Halloween and her face is painted. And I hope that the sadness is just a part of the costume, something she can wipe away at the end of the day.

The implements of war come home

The cicadas are out again. In the trees screaming like some out of control machine.

All the trucks resting here, sighing diesel into the night. The waning moon dragging itself into the sticky Kentucky sky.

I’m awake but tired. And hoping to make Atlanta before the sun.

Charge me your daily rate

All night, FedEx wide-bodies
from Beijing and Tokyo
Berlin and London
stacked above Memphis and
waiting to land.

And all day too
landing two by two.

Never will we need
so much freight.

All the world’s wealth
crushing Tennessee
into

Mississippi.

All cattle are killed the same

The first chiseled their messages into stone.
The next carved their messages into wood.
The afterthats printed their messages onto paper.

And the forgottens blow their messages into the cloud.

And pin my medals to my chest

Probably you will be alive when I die.
So bury me naked in the dirt.
As soon as you can.
Without chemicals. Without bibles.
Away from the water.
And facing the sky.

Hump Yard

There in Kansas City
the Union Pacific breaks apart its trains.

And puts them back together again.

All night those steel trucks
rubbing against these metal rails.

Screaming like the dead crying for hell.

Carbon County

I wrote something.
And then I deleted it.
I wrote it again.
And then I deleted it.

Because who reads.
And who cares.

More than we can bear

She puts on her new shoes. She checks her lipstick in the mirror. She meets a friend at the corner for a drink.

And then

Gunned down in the street. And covered with a flower patterned sheet.

Her new pink shoes bright against the grey Paris cobblestone.

There is only retrograde

0400 on the Georgia line he hammers south on 75 hoping to get through Atlanta before the locals wake and turn it into the usual shit show. The morning heavy with smoke and suffering.

On the other side she sits on the edge with the lights shut off drinking whiskey and wine and hoping sleep finds her before the monsters do. The night heavy with fog and longing.

Staring into their darkness they wonder how different life could be if they weren’t always afraid. If only once they could be brave.