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Carolina Journal

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Smoketrees line the roadside, still-bare beech and poplar
bouqueted with redbud and something rusty I can't name,
March's odd autumnals —
                                                                              
                                                                              One-church towns I'm glad
not to be from, split-log strip mall with a porch
where Claire's beauty shop shares a sign with "Antigues," where you study grace
in magazines, and when dad dies you rename the family diner

New York New York. Love is a means of travel, so you dye
the linens pink and swan-fold napkins, holding peony
in your mouth. Sundays drive out to watch the ferry
                                                                               drag its lace.

Coastward, Easter-colored clapboard,
the last generation's shanties hovering on narrow stilts
above the velour drift of tide plain (mink from a distance,

muskrat up close), a drowsy instrumental music,
flooded at dusk. Beside the bridge, smooth brow of pewter.
Island of saplings blackened like a framed-up house.

Source: Poetry (November 2007)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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Carolina Journal

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