Darlings and Dears
Is it the mind that insists on smoothness,
or the eye. The perfect sheen of the clementine
 
is tested only when I pick it up, divots and pores,
a soft spot. The gather-round-y’all hospitality
 
of the American folk song, which came from
somewhere else, like everything here except
 
the land, and the thunderous misery of the lyrics
if you listen. Dead lovers, women gone from
 
us forever, so it’s like they’re dead, even if
they’re not, Susannah, Clementine, all darlings
 
and dears. The water is wide, and the valley
is low, and from down here the mountains look
 
like they’ve been baptized with powdered sugar.
From far away, the river is a ribbon, satin,
 
and if you were shoved down onto that quilt of grass
it would probably feel good, wonderful, even.
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