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That there ever was a land
That land hoisted itself on the shoulders of the road
it collapsed against as if road set the pace
That land had a mind it used to picture itself
while you who walked it did not
Being hind of hands, forth of legs
That the mind of land might know itself
as the one who walked it
Joints here and there, never the one place twice
That land occupied itself in snapshots
That there was a place among last instances of this land
deserted by the one who walked it
by the action of hands swinging
and the mechanism of feet leaving one thing
That land sensed no roundness in you to roll upon
no finitude or furniture
That a mind ever threw itself across dry grass
stumbling and roaming on steel rims
A hum at the gums both motor and weather
As mind built upward curves
as incremental extensions of the land that pictured it
Structures built on that land
wholly dependent on falling down
That some creatures might attach their sticky flight to this state
or walk a porous nature and call it ground
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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.