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at the center of the room, another room

tuck into crook of ceiling, i’m the nocturne missing a chord
i’m wooing the late creatures with an incomplete sound
could stay here ’til morning
where’s made to catch a sound of any quality
i’ve used every door in the place, they all lead back inside

the ears on the mantle, not originally made to hear me, absorb
the little noises my body makes, devise a shitty sonar to remind me
i’m being reflected with no map for my return

under the ears, if we’re skipping errant senses:
layer of metal
layer of wood
mind your voice: one absorbs & one amplifies
if you say help me only the furniture will keep your secret

years later you’ll leave a mark where a mark’s due
you’ll notice the box wasn’t for holding anything
you never found the courage to crawl inside, you never learned
who would affix a sheet of metal to a slope
having pounded it into a sea of faces,
who are they

(place this card dead center)

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after the road, the pass
after the pass, the steep nothing, ravine for days, all days
who go uncounted, some days too harsh to number. in the
winter it’s the alternate ways and the unrailed ice, no one
to stop you, side step ash and chain. having never been
the one behind the wheel, having been set on a blizzard
road uncountable times & ways. here’s a place with no grip,
here’s a slope for only uncontrolled sliding, here’s an animal’s
engine useless against a fact. the road says down, you bail.
the road says no road, you drop, my hand on your cheek,
my oh, my love. four of you rolling away from the engine,
forming a new engine, you
& you
& you
there was a choice to make, the choice was go or go.

(place this card both above and below the house, relative to other seasons)

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[ 1 ]

before the driveway, the road
before the road, the mountain roads, dozens of them, unrailed and
dead steep, twist-turned and eerie quiet. in the summer it’s the
impossible grade full of smoke & beer having injured the metal,
having overheated the animal’s engine, having slid down silt:
tires slide, sneakers, cloud of what’s going to make this easier on
all of us, cloud of don’t pour water directly on the metal of it, spit
a clot & keep going, says up where the engine says down &
somewhere below here the logging roads & somewhere below that
a mile marker & somewhere below that a dirt road copying a creek
bed’s unnatural ridges, there was an animal engine here too, the
rumor goes there was water here, you can stuff stones in your
pockets, you’ll never get them all home.

(place this card both above and below the house)