the moon glares fiercely on this town tonight.

next door the uninhabited stack house bears it sullenly,

with her skirts gathered close around her

against the pale fire of snows in league with the light.

what does it matter how gathered in or self-contained she seems,

when two days from now her roof will suddenly give up the ghost,

when a month from now the city will attempt to locate

the owner, believed to be living elsewhere, someplace south,

when a year from now a demolition crew will raze it

and the snows will come again with nothing upon which to settle

but the dead grass, the dozer tracks and a bent beer can,

when tonight a man lays down with a woman

in a heap of blankets in what used to be the dining room

the air around them shimmering with shared knowledge

and unspoken alliance against the unknown.


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