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  • Jude Hopkins

Poem: "The Over-Ripe Imagination in Buckle-Up Country" — Published in Timber Creek Review, Vol. 15.



The sun, like the hills, tempers the natives,

appearing only after cresting the Alleghenies

and departs long before turning in for the night,

taking the sky with it.

Here there are no tales of sunsets like bloody yolks

or ones stippling the dusk with magenta —

such scenes unfailingly compromised

by mountains or mist.

The ring of hills surrounding the town

serves as a golden mean,

muscling back the kind of trouble

born of unbounded heavens.

So the people here spend their lives longing

to feel a fire hot enough to burn diamonds —

All the while casting onto phantoms

their hooded glances, their bitten lips

and swear they smell the sea in every remnant

of a hurricane that comes here to die.

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