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Jugs In the Smokehouse


ISSUE:  Summer 1986
Shelves pegged to time-bleached logs hold
the clear ones, just fat bottles,
big bulbs shedding weak blue and
lavender light in the fusc of
the dust-charged air. The oldest could
be burial urns for all their
ashy sediments. One keeps
the coiled skeleton of a blacksnake
and others the husks of beetles.
And the stone crocks on the ground
store a residue of molasses
thick as tar. The liquor jugs are dry.
Only the kerosene can still
has a yellow specimen, and,
strangely, a black nickel. The building
sags near breaking, ready to
swallow itself and be swallowed
by big pokeweeds and honeysuckles.

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