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James Cervantes


Reclamation at Four A.M.

The lawn's fever breaks as some distant raucous truck
shudders to a stop.  I feel the shift of freight
as moonlight dims and I wake again.  This time
I stand up and see my own shape move like shadow
across the hallway mirror; cloudshadow across the glass
of picture frames.  I step out into the subtle fog
of creosote that envelops this rambling house,
which once was desert traded for orchard when canals
snaked west and down, then orchard sold off for suburb.
With some neglect, this will all dry out and burn.
Dark windows will spread and swallow all
that swallows space, scratch
and rattle as deserts rise against the sun.




Surveyors call them
"correction lines,"
those hard rights
and hard lefts
going into Canada
from North Dakota,
longitudes and roads
converging on a spot
which roads never reach,
some fifteen degrees
off magnetic north
where the charged needle
sticks and tapers
forever toward its wound.


James Cervantes is the author of The Headlong Future and The Year Is Approaching Snow, and was co-editor for Fever Dreams:  Contemporary Arizona Poetry.  He is editor of The Salt River Review, an online journal.

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