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by | Dec 7, 2021 | Issue Twenty Four, Poetry

It’s called edge collapse:
Roots have nothing to hold onto.
Ghost trees enclose the living
on a ridge, outside, moving in,
on islands all over the Gulf,
one thousand abandoned oil rigs.

The city tip-toes
here and there. Our children
learn from books, cartoons
and nature-bathing tours
of re-claimed golf courses.
Of course, there are mistakes:
their confusion grows

like grapes. Our city sprawls
as if along a vine.
Skyscrapers
like ghost trees.
Flat city

prone in flashes,
when it floods the land alters itself
with cars too impatient
for the rain to pass. What I mean is
that people aren’t paralyzed by fear,
but what I really mean is
they think they’ve worked hard
enough they should be able to buy up all
the bad weather and dump it
outside the city, a reservoir
when it’s not soccer fields.

Crush and extract. Settle
and clarify. We start vineyards,
manage forests, build schools
where children hide.

Mandala-like, sand shifts
along the beach, whatever pattern
it makes will not last.
Maps are like this too:
you think you know what shape
your country disappearing will take.

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