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  • For the Gals

    HAILEY—1

    Samsara! Samarra! Grand!
    I can walk away from anything.
    Everyone loves the dream
    but I kill it.

    HAILEY—2

    —You’re our end, Bull Thistle rasps.

    By my finger Mints & Catnips clash.
    Glaciers pour.
    That’s a start.

    Avalanche Lilies glee my Spring.
    Poppy blossoms explode.

    I’m a new terror upon the land
    releasing runoffs, tumbling torrents.
    No sweat.

    Top of this peak, my greetings
    crash down upon powdery cliffs
    releasing rivers shhlick beneath
    whirls of murderous smaze.

    By plateaus of national hurt.
    And from stonescattered talus
    where climbs of Douglas Fir yonder,
    I start the ball rolling
    by wandering off.

    My fiery Mountain Top grovels:
    —She!

    A thousand buds of Western Flax
    find gifts of melting haze.

    I will sacrifice nothing.
    For there are no conflicts.
    Except me.
    And there’s only one transgression.
    Me.


    HAILEY—3

    Though I stay solemn, calm. Exquisite.
    Soon finding amidst this slaughter
    a Strange Pack which under leather & latch bars:
    Jars! One dozen Jars!
    Twinewrapped with plugs of smooth wax.
    I uncap one. Potentially lethal.
    I give it over to Sam.
    Oafishly he noses a glob.
    Thumbs then his mouth.
    Sunnyastounded kisses my mouth.
    Mistletoe whisks: —Consume only this.
    Honey!

    HAILEY—4

    Sledding the toll.
    Hustle & zoom. Fusee & fire.
    We’re carefree battling on melting tires.
    The Chevrolet Caprice sizzling all revs.
    For Our Great River Wends.
    Peppermint singeing the air.
    Rosemary. Persimmon. Burning peat too.
    Fertilizers, compost, turpentine and tar.

    Sugarcane thick with sweetening warns:
    —Go careful you two.

    The Ford Elite whines on,
    around caressing banks splashed with refuse,
    Our Mishishishi, heaving a low Barge loaded with
    Half a Ferris Wheel tuttuggering for Southern Pastures.
    I am the South.
    The Buick Century Special rumbling
    on, stressing, progressing.
    Allways neverthelessing.

    My Sam sixteen smiles, heels cavitating the wind.
    Rangy. A stunner. Saluting my wonder:
    —Here’s to keeping it Summer.

    HAILEY—5

    —Let’S skip stones,
    I simple. And we do.

    Finding thin, slick earth wings,
    which by shoulder and hip,
    elbow and wrist, releasing any grip,
    I skid skimming flat flips
    across the waters east
    to Asheville, south to New Orleans,
    even skipping horizons north, for
    permanently icebound coasts.
    Umpteen hops, minute dribbles,
    soaring scores of arcs tripling
    on and on, up, down and across
    this ever aching river flow.

    I am the flow.
    And all the bounces too.

    Sam of course allso throws his
    weight around, hurling blocks of
    rock tumbling out and down, only
    once, with just a thick kerplunk.

    No hops. Hardly surprising.

    But on and on he struts over such
    ridiculous splashes, guttering proudly:
    —Chattanooga! Baton Rouge! Anchorage!

    A confounding one.

    HAILEY—6

    Jam Up. Jam Down.
    When toast falls it’s jam all around.

    —Catch US on the flip side,
    we bounce. Sam seated behind, under
    shiftsleekening skies where clouds of US
    fly and everyone sighs. Because The Chefski
    lends US his Bike. On we ride. Slowly.

    European Hornbeam panic.

    Because I’m slower here.
    Because I feer the irreparable loss
    of holding someone dear.

    Hailey—7

    —We’re allways sixteen.

    Hailey—8

    Along 90, through Rozet, Wyodak and Campbell County we verge,
    rounds of US gripping the earth, spreading out across
    orchards, playgrounds, pastures, streams lumped with ice,
    foothills slumped beneath frost.
    Enough to drive me off.

    But Sam tenderly keeps me near:
    —We’re all around.

    Shattering these copses with our coming freeze.
    Only the most damaged & twacked Teenage Wastrels
    taste the lip & tongue nipping rip of our farflung distress.
    On standards, fencepoles & chains.
    Of pricklings now frore to take hold of all we let
    diminish and establish. We establish nothing.

    —The crowd’s thin, Sam bends, steering by these
    Ravaged, crawling for a breath.
    —Then let’S feed it? I wonder,
    our awful bolt freeing up for such Dislocated, Starving & Failing
    a way to slip away. Trail US. With modesty.

    Only none ever trails.
    We are all strays. Allways astray.
    Unwelcome.

    Hailey—9

    So I grab onto Sam
    who keeps blasting up, climbing by what’s allways
    waiting, mustering curves, exits and dead ends.
    Here goes me. Here goes. Me too.
    Roads crumbling, expanding, coming undone,
    blunting US with rut and crust entrapped stone.
    Until Sam’s Bexxer 60 slows,
    fast stops, enginings going tock.

    The Wheel his no more.

    We’re stuck and he’s my West.

    But we’ve reached The Mountain.
    And though we’re not strong, the strong are not
    strong. So we outdo all strong. And weak.
    And then by foot we continue on.

    Hailey—10

    —We’re the unwelcome, the lost, poor journeys beyond cost.
    We’re the frail, orphaned, unweathered and uncrossed.
    We’re the unwashed and rude. We’re the once missed,
    dismissed and allways misused. Because we’re unfinished
    and feered and we’re never pursued.


    Hailey—11

    Because I am too soon.
    Because without him
    I am of ruin.


    Hailey—12

    For a greater nation shall follow US and it will be outdone.
    And a greater devotion shall follow US and it too will be outdone.
    And a greater emotion shall follow Love and it too we will blow to dust.
    For I’m longings without trust. The pendulum rush
    emancipations from Sam allways punishes.

    Dust cares only for dust.
    And time only for US.
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