beneath them

run blood run
into my feet
that stand on the souls
beneath them

before I could remember
for the nth time
where I was and what I was doing
at the moment
the keys were sticking and I was cutting
lumber day-dreaming about cleaning
my keys
when the board bucked and swept my hand
through the blade
there was a lot of blood
the inside of my palm was outside
but all the digits moved
I felt no pain at all
I kicked things out of my way
that looked like they wouldn’t break
my foot
I cursed my way to the hospital
it was in a tent
I waited with a rag on the gashed flesh through
lunch break
by the time the seamstress arrived I could feel again
afterward when I asked for pain pills she hesitated
I have that kind of face that shakes one’s faith
she told me to buy a half-rack of beer instead
which I did
it was a long night
I had homeless dreams
and the next day one of my work gloves
was missing

it isn’t the poverty of the place
(although it is)
the entire area is a blend of a miserable
form of poverty (stupid and brutish)
and tourism (likewise elsewise)
recreational vehicles cameras trash fast food noise
and theft
can’t put a blush on it
can’t stop the rape of the rain forest
you have to be poor to speak ill of the poor
why do they listen at all?

how it is
depends on where you are coming from
when you arrive
how well behaved they were on the way over
it is very green and blue today
after a long gray sunrise

there are one hundred and twenty forest-eating fires
here this year
it’s the same with motorcycles
it’s just a machine designed to fit a certain size
price tag
it is the effect that is the cause

beneath them

Anthony DiMichele

Friday Harbor, United States

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