this is
further west

away from the drowning girl’s
blackened bones

away from my son’s
beautiful smile

a motel room in
a pointless town

afternoon sunlight through
half-open drapes
and a partial view of
the interstate

in the bathroom a young mother
twenty-two or -three
naked in the tub and with
her wrists cut
wide open

the postcards in
the nightstand drawer left

the bible stolen or
never there at all

every poem a man might
ever hope to write
hung unspoken and
just out of reach in
the shimmering

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