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I Won’t Tell You Where This Place Is

I Won’t Tell You Where This Place Is

You’re on the logging road, extracting here from where.
The dump’s a steam table for the bears,
all-inclusive heads below the sneeze guards.
The snowploughs are berthed in the works department yard,
overgrown monkey bars hard by are a tetanus factory.
Here a field with wooden crosses looks like history
and houses are component parts. Blue foam and Tyvek,
exposed like flesh beneath a nail, throbbing quick.
10,000 years of trust tells brindled mongrels
they’re safe as they flop upon the gravel
in your path. Honk your horn, but keep moving—slow,
to keep from casting dust and worst-case scenarios
on the young by their four-wheelers, clothed in camo
and looks that fill your passenger seat, or the old
and arthritic riding bikes and the waft of cedar.
The ravens have had enough. Their caws are hushed
in languages you don’t know and they point at you and snicker.
Blow a tire and you’re at a loss, facing the bush
and the sharpness of the blades that night will throw.
Now the trees are silhouettes hemming in the road
and you’ve never faced a single thing alone.
You always thumbed a lift to some facsimile of home.
Your history’s a chain of tolerable days.
A different statistic, you’ve always drowned in plenty.
You know nothing of those crosses or those graves,
those graves that are full and those graves that are empty.

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