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There was just enough 

money involved to write 

on a folded up brown paper sack

with the nub of a short pencil

sharpened with a kitchen knife 

the numbers keeping track 

of how much money 

we got that day from selling 

what we grew from our roadside shack

what we sold to passing strangers

I looked hard at the numbers

to tell how their secret code  

protected us and hid from us 

what we believed belonged to us




Naomi, Louisiana, Plaquemines Parish, 29.7102 degrees N, 89.9923 degrees W,

21.5 miles below New Orleans on state road 23; after reading for a while in

THE COUNTRY UNDER MY SKIN, a memoir of love and war by Gioconda Belli;

recalling a map showing rising waters inundating what used to be habitable land, 

some small number of arpents making up our farm; finding a driftwood plank I pulled out

of the water because I saw it said MISC PARTS; leaning back, seeing the blue sky,

thinking of James Turrell

Dara Wier

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