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Crocker! City of Bones

By Dan Crocker Feb 26, 2015 - 4:26 PM print



City of Bones
the worst thing we've ever seen
Robert Bowcock, environmental investigator and colleague of Erin Brockovich (Speaking of Leadwood, Missouri)

I.

The bones broken
bleached cages
just down the street
the new weeds grow
a strange green

The solution to cover lead
with more lead from a town
not much better off than we are

When that didn't work they
sprayed it down with sewage

It's safe, they promised

and the bones grew to dandelions
and we
were thankful

to find femurs, ribs bent
into smiles, bits of teeth
tumors spreading into
the marrow of our lives

The shit brought in from the Livestock
Sale Barn, the port-o-potty company
full of hypodermic needles biting

and then

Well, and then there was nothing
not even the sound of our cancers

This is what our fathers died for
we said

Part II

I said 
The Company left us
here where the chat dumps loom
like tombstones 
Left us like pigs without tits to suck
I said
The Company decided
lead was no longer a viable commodity
and left us with it, an illness
I said
It doesn't really matter anymore
what the men in suits from safer cities
say I said
When they got around to it
they hauled in dirt with less lead
to cover what we already had
and when that didn't work
they covered our town in
shit

literal shit

Months later we were still
picking out bones and teeth
from the dirt
In some yards after the rain
had washed it away
we were left with piles of bones
  cattle they said
it's safe and the needles
an unforeseeable side-effect

Our grandfather's won't speak of it
won't utter an ill word toward The Company
that fed them
put shoes on their children
gave them something to do with their hands

III

What I really mean is this:
         the lead runs deep
           the dark waters
      the tumored fish
  the rough hands
   run deep

            Robbie killed himself
            Mike killed himself
         Buck killed himself
         on and on

It's so simple
our town is small
there's no money

IV

We live in shit
We vote Republican
We pound our Bibles
Eat at Macdonald's
drive big trucks
We drink a lot
we fight a lot
we fuck a lot
and pray a lot for salvation

The lady across the street
finally took down her Jesus
is coming soon sign

There's glory in the blood

We were all so busy
waiting on Armageddon
we never noticed
it was already here.



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