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  4. [They inherit a packet of earth] by Sherwin Bitsui
[They inherit a packet of earth]

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They inherit a packet of earth
hear its coins clank in a tin box

push them aside
reap thick strands of night from thinning black hair.

They climb the staircase clenching branches of pens filled with ducks’ blood

and follow the butcher’s bed into this room—
          goose feathers thorning out of their eyes.

They promise to never look down again
down is just a speck of globe dust

                                          just coins clanking in the tin box.

Sherwin Bitsui, “[They inherit a packet of earth]” from Flood Song. Copyright © 2009 by Sherwin Bitsui. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Source: Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)
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[They inherit a packet of earth]

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