May/June 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 3 Nature’s Nature |

埋 / Bury

First it was a pocket watch the archeologists unearthed, its plated chain strangled inside this grave’s massed roots, black hands clawing at twelve and two. Trains run on time as well as coal, the company owners knew, so that their iron cabs could pass each other untouched in the dark. Proximity requires partition. One must invent zones, rules, schedules. One must assign value to what threatens progress and capital, what counts as a loss —  Someone fevers in his rented room. Someone coughs and claps a hand to another’s back and a ghost of hours passes like a shadow straight through you —  Only a matter of time once the cholera came before they’d turn and point to us, the company men who left our bodies where they were felled: spike handlers, carpenters, Irishmen all bludgeoned and dumped at Duffy’s Cut, beside their tracks they hired us to build.

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Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, and three books of poetry, A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, and The Invention of the Kaleidoscope. Her newest book of poems, Imaginary Vessels, will be published in October 2016.

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知 / Know

By Paisley Rekdal

First it was a pocket watch the archeologists unearthed, its plated chain strangled inside this grave’s massed roots, black hands clawing at twelve and two. Trains run on time as […]

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