Slowdown

What you cannot face
you face — that’s your direction. In houses in cars
in cars that become houses
the event stage is dark
then revealed, the longest story chapter by chapter,
what makes someone somewhere
despise you. How will I know when it happens?
It’ll be a long drive,
you’ll know.
Across the street is a streetfight
in which a man without shoes shrieks to no one
particularly

but not to me. The alarm clock is pushed away
from the bed and a man is lifted up to a white van.
His arm falls to signal everyone back
to the races. Or it’s midnight,
and men and women are in each other
in buildings,
and some have never gone anywhere
but there, over and over. What apartment are you in
they will be particularly asked
and they will say
the same as before, Mother. What state are you in?
Again. The question has their scent and the answer
their form. It is the fight of their
lives, if they walk away from it. And then that’s that,
or nearly.

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