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What Remains

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You find out what's a poem the
Hard way some times

A scrap of line you threw away two days
Ago and now look at you bent over the dumpster at the waist

Sneaking a bite of pizza while you
Think no one can see you
It's not everyday that the end
of the world is announced
one terrible loss
at a time

Mental hygiene they used to say
As a joke
On the billboards along the
Parkway
Nobody laughed that anyone knows

Now its just okay, are you saying I'm not essential
Or are you saying that
You don't even want to be friends
Breaking up is
Never cut and dry.
Industrial hygiene, by the way, is a weapon
Not a joke.

Every law is obeyed in the end, over time –
Or have we forgotten the news of the day.
Track those lights across the sky into the dawn of
This was never dreamed, but
Feared all the same.

Ground-nesting birds
A nervous harbor bell
A bumper sticker that reads:
This too shall pass –
As we overtake the
Last thing we lost.

As we set sail
With whatever remains

Monte Merrick

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