Where we live

Over slow-simmered, vinegary dishes of tripe and pork we listen to tales—

of the watershed plowed through by a local politician’s earth-movers,
and the soil loosened around the base of trees. When they fall
it is not from the axe or the chainsaw but from this thing
they call development.

The dazed houses lean upon each other for support.
The cherubs that flank the cathedral’s main doors sport new
coats of golden paint, but the bowls they hold out are empty.

In the window frame, a spider-thread collects drops
of damp tribute: condensation from days of unending rain,
and inside, from the heat made by our own bodies
though we can hardly remember what the air

smelled like, untinted, before the wilderness ceased singing.


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