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On the beach I think about vitrifying glass
About tight collars and clean windows beneath
Adolescent clouds, camels carrying tea trays, breaking clouds
That smell to you like the April in every month
Of days that crawl up your skin into the deep cave
Across the fortuneteller’s hand
Moths flicker north from wave to welkin
Nibbling air the way you forage
Like lupine through lichen for a slice of hard bread
The halved pear of your back pulled sleek
They repeat themselves and say
All this darkness is transparency and decay
Taking what the rest of me can’t
Take like solid blows
While I imagine a single pine needle
Against a clear alpine sky
A green swimming hole for an infinite number of swimmers
An implacable storm gathering its skirts
Seagulls sing of ashes and salt
Even the swallows are crop dusters
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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.