On Leaving Maryland

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Happy almost New Year’s, everyone! We made it. It’s been a damn slog through shit and torment for some, but here we are. 

I wrote the following ages ago. 2001. It’s actually been published a few times. So I’ll post it here as well. Yes, I lived in Maryland for a year or so. 

 

ON LEAVING MARYLAND
Oct 24, 01

This landscape of density–
bays, capes, chunky rivers with salt currents,
Chesapeake, St. Mary’s, Magothy, Elk, Patapsco.
Those highways, byways, freeways, cloverleafs, turnpikes;
no road going where it should, no direction sane or logical;
towns designed by blind, malicious children
with better things to do that day.
Summer in Annapolis– a creamily green jungle of humidity,
oppressive like a moist fevered hand against the face.
Not like the sagebrush-smeared lands at all.
Where everything is seen,
where everything is measured in miles,
not the time to get there.
Too many trees in Anne Arundel County, boles
dark and fulsome with mold and mildew;
the iron of my wind chimes turns red overnight.
I can’t remember how to think here…
The fan’s little motor hissing beside my bed
and my skin riddled with sweat and pores and odd hairs.
And the winter before, the heat did not come on.
They have gas here, pilot lights and little blue flames.
Always out, unlit, hidden beneath, out of reach of my short arms.
The drawbridge going up and down for sailboats,
the neighbor man offering to show me and my friend
his one testicle, the other he’d lost in Vietnam.
Someone placed the ocean here.
But even that blue beast has to endure weekend sailors.

4 thoughts on “On Leaving Maryland

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