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  • We've talked about this earlier. Wind, please stop
    your whispering. They lived here once, they lived
    here once.
    Poplar leaves remain on the blacktop:
    dead and gone -- they were the young, the old
    who refused to quit life fully, satisfied
    with lesser vestiges: mummified on branches,
    or slaving on the ground. They know each room,
    the roll-your-owns, the cigar ash that hides

    beneath board cracks, the absence of two lives
    chalked on the safe room floor. And still,
    that perfume of flesh in the fireplace. Come fall,
    with mildew mottled, they scan our cabin walls
    for entrances. What is that muttering?
    The sky is cold. They shiver. They want in.

    (3rd place winner, Ablemuse Sonnet Award)
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