In the Sticks

everything forks and branches
you can’t get there from here

unless you go sideways first
like a knight in chess

or a long-tailed weasel
hunting in the stiltgrass

you must run out
of luck or lumber

get saved by a discount preacher
behind the barbecue shack

lose an argument
with the moss

wonder what horrors
lie hidden beneath your feet

wrapped in duct tape
sealed in mason jars

but you learn the new
bump and grind

of mountaintop draglines
or fracking rigs

the way a chainsaw mutters
between screams

how the creek can rise
from a lullaby to a roar

and wash away all
our post-industrial middens

how there’s a rambling rose
that blooms every june

in the small of the back
of beyond

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