Low Land

Thinned man has river eyes. The men move. They are building a railroad. Two, then three, then four—-we are all homeless and dirty and ugly and they do not like us.

They point at us and take pictures and do not believe that these are our houses. They are building a railroad, in the back, next to the swing sets. I smirk. I just waded through the first floor of an apartment. It was six inches of water and sewage. It smelled like it. Get out, I think.

Toxic Flood Water. TFW, they write, on the walls. There is a number, too. The number is 2, or 1, or 0. Or once, 9. We find dead bodies, dated late in september. Too many days: get out, get out of here—-we are going to let the dams out. Foolish log eyes are dim.

Do not demolish this house—-we are inside, on the porch, smirking. Do not demolish this house. The rest of the flat land smirks. What did you expect?

We tore down this house, already, earlier. The men, the women, the children: this was never a home. The ins and outs of the too tall look like giant pits. Nobody can sit on a roof and pray and wait.

In the first month of this railroad. Move out. I like numbness or crying or thinking about crying. My life is squatted. I have not returned to it yet, I see it—I like crying or numbness or poor people who are lazy. There was no storm.

My throat came lose, lurged, lunged. The railroad is loud now and the men with the hammers pound it out: Our Town. The high ground has porches and porch swings and white people. The high ground looks good. It is rebuilt, the man in the suit says. Eighty percent of the city is in the hills, looking at one another—where are the ghosts, they think. It is only a dream.

Neighborhood, again, once, again: gone. Metal, rabid dogs turn left, trot. But the houses are still there. We should tear them down. Do Not Demolish.

Our Town: there was a perfomance in the city center. The man with the long gun squatted like an american refugee—or are they all killers, anyway? Losers, connected and consumed by a past that should be forgotten. The woman with the round face, hallow eyes, bled on the street and she didn’t get picked up.

Usually, we come if they are dead. Usually, we don’t if they are just digruntled and lazy. It is only a dream. These houses do not fall over like this if they were real. They should really leave. It is not safe here.


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