The landfills if it never stopped raining?
$40 a month for cowboys in the 1880’s
torn grass flower crumbs plastic driftwood cups
around the rodeo trash-can
before it’s put into a landfill
The early chapters of genesis without wood to put in piles St.
Thomas slowly dunked into Lake Mead
two years of blended destruction
waves of population leaving at different speeds
1930s iso 100, f/5.6, adjusted SP
ninety years of graphed drought
iso 200, f/16, SP 1/200
1936 rodeo workers’ association
small brown flies around the trash can
the horse eyes in my chair
with the Gulf of Mexico on fire
dim light of my phone screen
flickering orange and away from orange the same as the waves in person the waves as pixels
a camera angled under the stems
on the screen a preview of the petals
mixed with shaped stars and trash
the trash-can open
half a black cloud and the brown church. threaded grease-trap smoke
churning | free-blown.
dad’s stories had the same scent.
his sewn tongue lumped like prayer beads. notches with hourly oral patterns:
warn your children
censor your stories
forget your spanish.
His ripped tongue edible
one one three/
two one bare/
on and on . . .
left my hair with his dead skin and spit.
half-moon before, under, his eyes.
down the steps to the small pond
thinned to a final boiling thread.
the sky’s clear yarn dried.
roots that used to stitch the bark.
sap that dripped on glass
it’s partner is two inches off.
the short knotted hills taken by the ants
and ants that pour themselves from their own lump stolen from the dirt-grains.
piled between them:
one arm over one arm.
the sun gives light to,
i make my way through a seesaw of poor and not. watch for cracks
beware of dogs.
the town, around me, slowly turns
from town to him.
What phase of sun
First saw the Catholic mother?
— Not smooth from her oiled ridges — Notched, dented
With taps and digs:
Reminder of different sins and worries The son in Chicago,
the breath In his mouth On different brown skin.
Morning dishes under soap-teared
The sun bakes and curls,
Lights your swollen ridges,
Ridges which they tell me differ from
All other, praying, morning forms.
Stephen is a twenty-five year old writing and working from a small town in Texas hoping to use different formats to merge his community’s history with current times.