Border State Of Denial

By Jeremy Michael Clark

As if there were no North Star.
As though beneath the white oak one might find shade
& not find oneself

dreaded from the branches. If the truth were
just a myth, would that make it any less true?

In the front yard, on cinder blocks
the scrapped hull of what’ll get fixed
one day, one day…

as though the air won’t keep its promise, can’t turn steel
to flaking rust. As though light doesn’t still fall
from something dead long ago.

There are some who like to think
this state was never divided,

as if here we don’t have brothers
with eyes & barrels aimed,

as though the distance isn’t the measure of everything
between us
and what we can’t see,

as though dread isn’t what sways the trees,
as though one could turn away from that,

as if this wasn’t the enslaved side of a river.

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