by Joe Bueter
The smell some nights
_____could’ve simply been the marsh.
_____Or crustaceans and bacon grease.
Once insignificant of sin, like all land,
_____god visited this friable acreage twice—
_____once in making, once in audit—
when god did range. Both times were
_____quick, maybe efficient.
Recently the county painted a bike lane
_____for the courageous, the driven self-healers
_____of port-to-port rides, sponsored signs.
Could’ve been their sweat or
_____the sweet-smelling diesel of barges on the river
_____or of 3 a.m. truck races passing each red light
of the abandoned Coast Guard relay towers.
_____Could’ve been the wind from the city
resting here. Could’ve been the two executed men
_____slowly sinking under the cordgrass and the light
_____inodorous spiders, who stepped
with their incredible knees
_____over the metal-blown wounds of flesh and sand.
_____The smell at night could’ve been all of this.
But not the locks of the new, red-doored condos—
_____all of them red against pestilence.
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