coming home for the census


            sure, we went bloat-eyed and buzzy

when the neighbors down rawl road waged

     war with each other—christened their property

            line the two-way gates of heaven and built


that barbed-wire fence to keep each other out,

                                    but that’s old news.

            the iga’s stocking dairy-free yogurt

    now. dogs and coyotes keep going at it in ditches.

            even the seraphim living down in the trailer

park bought a new american flag for their window,


            six-winged bodies bursting with life

whenever the gamecocks pull through with the win.


                        you know what this is:

the departure and undeparture, ms mary asking

            how’ve you been, honey and all the fresh-baked

bread in the county wrapped in wax paper

     and baling twine.


i think i’m finally falling into like with the things

i can’t change. say blackwater. say deus ex machina.

                        say glock 42 with bubblegum on the trigger.


            on saturday the neighbors peeled a doe out

                        of the fence, first body of sacrifice,

     and i recite every vacation bible school song

                        that makes me feel home-bodied.

            still, the astounding lack of street lights


               turns our night sky into a halfway heaven,

and i think about you every time i pass sunflower fields.



            this is not a poem about sad things.

                        this is a poem for movement.