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By David Bankson

Tell of darkness in a coal miner’s heart,
balsam fir sapling surrounded by ancestors,

all the hearts of man expelling words
of warning. Say the house’s roof

is a den of illicit activity. Invoke
empty stone wells & death masks,

cracked teeth, a sunset stained with wine.
As another night ruptures in the throat,

scream the primal truth–though stories
are honey, let us grasp the barbed wire tonight.