Back (for Maggie)
by Jim Davis

For Maggie

In a room overlooking the endless
parking lot, Oak Street, livestock

scale, she wagged her stump of tail
and asked what became of the place

we came from – patiently waiting
for liver-kidney biscuits in a blanket

on the steel table. We came from
a place like this one: saline, boiling

rivers of delivery, little boutique shops.
Are we going home now, she asked.

No, we didn’t say, but held out our palms.
Some sunsets take years to explain.

Heartbeats in a blanket like erasure.
Old Master will spend Sundays hoeing

snakes in the garden where she’s spread.
Weary in a room above an endless valley

there are hills, there are trees, branches
heavy with hoot owls. They are quiet.

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