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back gate 

in old california
this outpost forms its
own conclusions.
take these last days —

we find death stumbling
from one room
to another — trail
of tears and spent
cooking grease —
machines on the mend

if extra is needed then
why not the bill —
are these the sorts of things
we might see on the exam?

why this star
and
not that star
will hiss
to the sea —
no sentence
rules the dark—iced
night —

i've heard the howls from
the back bedroom window.

i've seen live nerves on fire and the
eyes of those burning also aflame.
you might find some pictures
left at the back gate.

every day you discover
the strange fact
of each day.

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Monte Merrick

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