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Two people I love are parting. I left
my shoes in the desert. Maybe I’m like
a wedding, I have a formal need to make
these two ideas meet, the colors of each one
meeting, as if in a vineyard they are to be made
better by each other. I’m not like a vineyard.
The last time I started out with an idea
I looked out across the water until the idea
chimneyed up out of me and away. That’s
how I know it feels good to give yourself up
over something blue. So what if each day
absence shakes me down to my toes, bare
now and which have never left the earth,
which have always dug down deep
into this earth. One way of learning
that the sky lights up is saying it.
Another is going back to the desert
to find you. When this new thirst appears
in the canyon of my throat I’m all hands
in the bucket, channeling my this is how
I have been taught to handle it feeling.
I don’t have to fight to make this body
any more strange. Far away, two people
I love are parting, and their belongings,
and a man believes his grief cares for him
enough to follow him wherever he goes
like a beloved. Nothing takes as long as loving
and unloving. Lightning, distance, I can see
my feet won’t tell me if the storm
I see from here is going to be coming.
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Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.