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Poetry

Beyond Preemption, Illinois

It's possible there was no bridge painted teal,
rust coming through like bruising


no one else notices, then shares them with a practical generosity.
You might as well know this.


Or that when I stepped from the gravel road
into the ditch of timothy and scattered glass there was no applause,
no commentary from the cornfields, each stalk rustling,
silk and husks


And that snake wrapped around the top strand of barbed wire --
it's possible, I suppose, that it got there itself


That what appeared to be graying cord


-- half-stiffened, half-paper, its finished life
flaking off in the sun --
had been a cadence, a taproot

Such things may not matter


It may be gone when I look for it next, brought down by rain,
bird-pecked


I might begin to believe I imagined it


It's possible the world keeps its horrors largely to itself
in spite of what we read, what we know


And the child's wagon down there in the creekbed,
overturned, one side shot through, in the pokeweed --


I suppose it might not be anything, after all