If this planet once again becomes swampland

Jonce Marshall Palmer

& we are left with wasps mingling : with poppies still rising out of our pots : We are left with gulls from God-knows-what-shore ; cowbirds from the pasture : across the dirt road ; We are left with cries of warblers : herons : the bullfrogs they binge on ; skewered apart when they open ; their beaks. We are left ; with a stray of spider’s silk : (still floating) : over the water ; something still on the end that may : or may not be dead ; like hot coffee : (left) : derelict : in a hurry. We are left : with squirrels chasing : the length of a tree branch ; the leaves rustling down ; punk! of an overripe loquat : hitting the rusted tractor roof ; opened upward as if in prayer. We are left : (still) : with wasps : revving their wings ; trucks that used to be heard : on a distant highway : & the drowned dogs are left : entirely to themselves behind : a fence : (behind) : & we are left : with their barks : howls : hunger ; The lock will dutifully remain : until rust coaxes him to sleep : the convent-turned-meth-lab-turned-revival-tent : down the dirt road find itself : just so : The roof of the patrol car : will bloom open with a gentle : Amen. The sheriff’s six-shooter : will continue to dream : until every round rots in their chambers : The bars in the jailhouse will stalactize : cracks appearing in : the maw of the now-dead state : (still left behind) : If things come to pass this way ; If we are not the ones to open up the roofs of the mouths of the cops ; We have already lost.

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