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Supply Chain


Drippingly by grips, this humus and perlite nearly sings
         through my fingers
circling the ditch lily's heat-sunk side, anthers frayed, fallen.
         Sift. Learn your footprint.
If occasion, rise to. Another bloom, opposite, grows blood
         orange, its splayed
open hand, in shade, still opulent, curls tender, having the time
         of its life.
Let's get the basics, the survey says. Sight says, turning,
         the cat's sprawled
beside the baby rat it found and above the scalp thin lawn
         through the window
the children are watching. Where do you live? What's under your
         roof? What brushes
up, by now, is summer burnt grass in scorch and stubble with
         the rat who will not
move. Lent pallor. Light gray lumpen weight. How many rooms
         do you own? Keep
digging, mom, get to china, they call out, when I work the plant
         free, its dirt
tumbling thick with rooted tendrils reaching. Are you a gadget
         geek, a regular
joe, or technophobe? Plus crumbs, wedged in pine cones,
         tunnels,
earthworm ruts. There's nothing I can't touch here if I want
         to or disturb,
teeming sum of what we're built on, soil damps beside dry
         pockets, clay
at the spade end gone that unctuous apricot yellow. Refine
         your results.
The cat's long patient, knows what her hurt can do.
         She waits, ginger
lines of her fur circling. What's on your plate/
         in your medicine
cabinet/jewelry box/garage? I look closer. The infant rodent
         is trembling.
Another child, not mine, labors deep to find the shine,
         sorting pebbles
through her fingers. Make progress. Take action.
         Witness
not permitted distance. When the prey finally moves,
         jumps a few inches, the cat
closes in, takes the injured flaccid thing into his jaws
         for the kill
and carries it almost like a kitten across the lawn.
         My hand crushes
the dark stamens and the littlest child
         upstairs
at the rat's last squeal, begins to scream best,
         best, this
is the best day of my life
, and I have to walk back inside.


Pimone Triplett

Supply Chain
University of Iowa Press


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