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When I fall asleep she places
silver dollars over my eyes.
The dream of the milkweed field, again.
I snap a green stem and milk runs
down my wrist in the direction
of the wind, so I follow it.

There's a dog for every master standing
in line at the water pump.
The men fill vegetable cans with
fresh water from the stream.
The trees are sapped with animal fat.
The dogs howl at the deer.

The boys come out in Indian headdresses.
They bayonette the pitch pines
with their toy rifles.
The girls peel strips of bark
and wear them as bracelets.
The children sing a Piney drinking song.
The streams are more rare
as I move north. Thirsty, I sip
a thin vein of water from the forest's organs.
Trees suck the dark liquor of the dirt,
at twilight. The men head home, whistling
a variation on the children's drinking song.
In the houses, the wives
flick on lamps at dusk, and wait behind
windows for husbands who arrive at their porches,
watch their dogs push tin cans with their noses.
The fishermen drop their heavy slickers in the hallways
with the sluggish thump of wet rope.

I follow some of the younger men to a
sand lot.  Sit and watch the fevered hustle
of horse legs as they slam the basketball
hard against the backboard, sweating angrily.
Her coins slide down my cheeks,
the sensation I've been crying.

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