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The following poem originally appeared in Freeman’s: Arrival.
Away to the uncertain desert of Utah,
the land a rusting delirium of mortuaries,
I mark with gravel stones and bottle caps
those cousins to whom I cannot speak,
their mother just rigor mortis by the wharf
workmen gutted out for some yacht club
and a KFC, its stink a dreadful malebolge.
Cement dust specters the shore with rough
moonlight music; the surf no longer comes
to her louvers, where ibises, marsh morticians,
settled at sundown. Their faces shirr up
in my mud room, shouting bingo! bingo! bingo!
I seek in exile one incontrovertible windfall,
their laughter above the surf as we gather shells
to play, numbers skimming water like stones.