Land of —

Windows ask, what is a door?
     And nights ask, what are days?
          The coat rack wants to know 
               what branched fingers 

are for. Farms and abattoirs
     close down and milk floods 
          the ditches. Shingles bang
               on the roof as if they

want to be vultures or crows. 
     Today the foot wants to press 
          itself against the tongues 
               of boots. It's not so pretend

that you live in a town 
     where sentries stand guard, 
          armed with long nasal swabs
               and plastic shields. They go 

from house to house, 
     knocking on doors, waving
          fever guns. Inside, mothers
               go about sorting chaff 

from grain, paper from polyester. 
     They know how to quiet the fowl 
          before unsheathing the blade. 
               The hours are a long highway 

doused in petrichor. The wilderness is not
     just a story you once read about, that 
          a grand railway was built for. You
               can't remember all the turns

you had to take and what it cost to get
     into that country called America. By then
          the waters are poisoned. You peel
               even the skin off grapes.

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