Country Music
an online journal of poetry
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Leora Fridman


no one goes to bed like they are supposed to.
This is the drive I make every day in the dark: a child
strapped to a tree trunk, calling, please don’t
commute to me. Please don’t drive with bellies
filled with your rights. You have liberty enough
in the way you pursue this spectrum, a linear attention
to the call of the wild in which everything outside of the
line of your staring gets belted away from you
and searched by someone else. You asked no one
to search so invasively, but these, young lady, are
the days we have been given. We have to be stepping
toward them and not getting side-swiped by
more assertive men. When you are resting I hope
you imagine the walls of manufacturing buildings
falling away from you with insignificant thunks
as you tour the factory where other young ladies
made yarn and flush cloth of kinds you’ve never seen.
It’s not in fashion to wear that cloth to work now, though
it is always in fashion to tour factories of other times.
When you sleep more children keep working, more
people who don’t call out from the wilderness because
they have no desire for wilderness in the way you visit
it now. You can focus on more action when you stare
at a single wild cheek. You claim a candy striper
supervised you in a job you had no business
calling overblown.