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3 September 2013.

A left turn onto the highway of heat and no air conditioning. The day unfolds the same: a cup of water left on the sun-sill until mold colonizes it. Then, a voice on the radio, a man pretending to be the constant treble in a country of distrust and deception. He is decrying the end of Iranian sanctions, claiming the economic relief aimed for in the peace talks will only bring us closer to that come-to-jesus moment, the nuclear kind, His face embossed on our place in the mushroom gloom. That act of attrition, that gesture of absolution, is his, and many other people's, god.// Though who were you, young animal of fire and opposable thumbs, before any of this giving over to language started? Before a woman, who tilted her chair so you could see her degrees on the wall, declared that we are a shifting pattern of atoms and anxiety. Her rule for the line: a breath, every line is a breath. Somehow, she claimed this wasn't a rule.\\ The brother of your father died. You weren't there. He was a drug addict with M.S. There was no reason for your father to love him, but he did. If anything, there is a rule for the line there.// Off the highway, a man parks his garbage truck in front of a church. The grass is burnt. Boots on top of the scorchings, he clenches a pitchfork with two prongs, poking something on the roadside. You pass the truck and look back. A dog lies beneath the church sign. The dog is dead, and the man knows it. He is trying to dump its carcass in his truck. Lovin Jesus Lovin Man. Bold letters: an open wound, wide as a sheet of paper, luring flies. No, the man is irritating it with his stick.

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Author:DeLong, Jesse
Publication:The Carolina Quarterly
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2015
Previous Article:27 October 2013.
Next Article:2 May 2014.

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