Postcard From The Ozarks: Winter

Snow fell like fireflies sprayed with an insecticide.
It was just that swift, that brutal. Cold, huh? I ask
my neighbor who is leaning on a shovel when I trudge past.
Sonsabitchin mailman, he replies. I’m waitin on
that sonofabitch. Some nights I watch him burning garbage
in a metal drum; some nights, when the wind’s just wrong,
I wade through the river of dioxins and hydrofluoric acids
burbling up the hill to pool around our swingset’s insect legs.
You ever smell the label melting off a milk jug? I have.
I peer through the trees while his flop-eared mutt pounds
an ellipse of mud around the barrel’s glowing rim,
and I tremble with an anger as naked and as raw as the moon,
but what can I do? For now, I kick on through the still
faintly convulsing drifts to a door that shuts behind me
like a lid. Nights like this, even the knob grows fur.




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