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Sweat dances down your body.

It races to the interlocking threads of your socks

Where it will be held hostage

Until you throw yourself onto the scolding,

Torn leather seats of your

Used and reused truck,

Force the key in the ignition,

Fire up the air conditioning,

And drive down that black path.

Not looking into your mirror

To see what has been done.


But for now,

The only thing you can force

Is a solemn striking step, letting

Your feet settle deeper into their swamp.


Your hands strangle

The bar of the machine

Whose blades decapitate

The thin green tips.


Because they were too long

Too mangy

Too mismatched

Too many

Hundreds, then thousands



Your veins pulse

Through your burning skin.

Gasping for air

Like your lungs

Like their lungs.

They breathe, too.

They breathed, too.


Once you reach the fence

And turn,

You see him standing outside

His ivory French doors,

Paycheck draped over his palm

Like an owner holds a treat

After the dog’s trick is done.


He sees his land come alive

As you




You give a nod

Which is not returned.

You are owed nothing more

Than what he holds.


Your head swivels forward,

Sees the blunt juxtaposition:

A column of what was

And of what is.


Just like he will always be what you see

Right now.

Standing as is.

And he will see you

Only now.

And never care if you were the man who was

Or come back and are the man

Who is.

You are owed nothing more.


You continue until all of what was

Becomes what is.

Until he can look out

At his grave yard -

This graveyard of seared lush

And agree, with everyone else,

That this is the only

Kind of yard

That will ever look


An Ode to the Owed 

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