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Cindy Veach


Earthlings

          Things that are beautiful, and die.
                                                —Laura Kasischke

On a plane we say souls—
           one hundred souls aboard

not the same with cars
           as if proximity to earth negates

the idea that we are more
           beautiful than matter.

Is that why down here the trooper covers
           the body with a sheet—

and two deer, side by side
           on the shoulder of the highway

legs splayed like clothespins
           that lost their grip

are emptied carcasses filling
           with pyramids of new snow

feather weight?
           The plow blade sparks blue

when it finds pavement
           flickers.

These balding, out-of-balance tires
           carry us—

each rotation
           stitched to the next

if luck holds
           random and catch as catch can

but viable viable
           here on earth

and nowhere else
           and nowhere next.


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