C. J.

C. J.

Like all Smith men
in my family, his broad forehead
was big enough

for a See Rock
sign, a watershed of fallow

that sloped
to the bushy brow and sweet,
flowing creek

of his smile.
I can still smell the farmer

on that neck
and face, feel the hands
thick as

fence posts
hold me safe from the dangers
and damnations

of the world.
When he died, we found hidden
the slick-

covered magazines
in his closet, the young, naked

spotless and white
as angel wings—posed in all
the differentials

of passion. And
then I knew more of whom I loved
and how

and what twists
and turns may come on the trail
to the City

where Nacoochee,
in despair, flung herself
to air.


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