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Trouble comes with the freight
train’s one light passing over
the bridge through your back yard.
Your brother-in-law holds a banjo
and wanders through a few runs
before you see him becoming
something he hadn't considered
with the fifth string missing.
You don't think of being alone
but the mountains do it for you
—the flatlands without service
or station, augured soil rolling out
before the fog. You throw the rotten
plywood off the roof and stare out
into a lake bordered by houses
without insulation or anyone
except the laborers who laugh
and plan to work until they die.
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