this is
further west

away from the drowning girl’s
blackened bones

away from my son’s
beautiful smile

a motel room in
a pointless town

afternoon sunlight through
half-open drapes
and a partial view of
the interstate

in the bathroom a young mother
twenty-two or -three
naked in the tub and with
her wrists cut
wide open

the postcards in
the nightstand drawer left
blank

the bible stolen or
possibly
never there at all

every poem a man might
ever hope to write
hung unspoken and
just out of reach in
the shimmering
air

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