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Bethlehem, PA

                                    Will Cordeiro


Hard grey brick buildings blear to lines of rain
where slow mud churns to river, then to rust;
soft tonnage of clouds rag over sloping plains . . .
Factories drag cigarettes; men resemble dust.
Well, nothing happens here. Less does. It’s home.

The unemployed wear orange hunting vests out
to bars where one glum moosehead always smiles,
repeating a dirty joke their fathers groaned
so they have something they can say that’s theirs.
The beer suds wink; the town’s one long hard stare.

The news scrawls by on boxcars, cursed for miles.
A bum sleeps in the park, and no one cares:
each day’s a lapse of anything to think about.
The stars keep shivering it’s so fucking cold.
You wake. The girls have girls who’ve gotten old.


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