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The New Moon Economy


We’ve all been in towns
that wouldn’t have us, whose woods
beyond the cemetery
hide houses made of leaves,
their windows lit low
by peat fires, the slow stink
of heat rising through trees
then sinking into grass, the mounds
that seem to shrug and settle.
And the exiles we are, in overcoats
and heavy shoes, we present
our sticky faces to the tellers
and soda jerks, the lovely girls
cracking gum at the luncheonettes,
and we’re told to leave, simple
as that, told to walk our sorry selves
back to sea, back to sod, back
to wherever we come from which, funny
enough, is a place a lot like
this one, happy once and
lovely and now turned
like the moon to black.


James Harms

Shenandoah

Fall 2012


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