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I grew into a stuffed animal who wanted
only to insert itself into the fossil record,
to test the mettle of a closeted end
of starless January. [You hurtle forward, you hold
on to someone’s waist: it’s as all scouts
know.] I was loosed in dormant sumac;
this much someone, someone else retained. When
it burns you move away
is good enough advice. [Move
advice that burns, burn off
perception of selflessness, get the regard
of a thing: deer ending
afternoon against the snow
holding on to trees, crepuscular trees,
with an almost yellow whatsit overhead.]
Here all can be reduced
to twigs lashing cheeks
as the snowmobile crests another white hill.
Let dim and distraction weave into
our scarves, shrink
our boots till we put a hood
to ice at the edge of the stream,
then drink what’s seeping up
and hope it’s clear.
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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.
Protests in China are shining a light not only on the country’s draconian population management but restrictions on workers everywhere.