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  • Route 44 to Route 52*
  • Alena Hairston (bio)

The mountains beginover and overin the eyes spellingout unincorporated townsbound by the cartels of history,clasts of deciduous time.

Today we drivebehind the forgetting trucksheavy with the gravity of tomorrow,a pulling work between the edgeof tipple and leftover mountain.

Rock shadows and silt seamslandlocked, this tectonics fleetingin the now of absence.

There is rip and sash in your voiceas you mouth homecomingin the various bitumenof passing caveswhich appear on no map.

We ridepast the coal camps and companyhouses stoked in careless sun;past adult children who knowmore than we should,standing firm and removedlike the cracked, handwritten signsfor peat and gravel roads too far awayto be called highways. [End Page 70]

These are the fields of tarthat smoked our eyes,took away the openwelcome of quiet,did not love us back. [End Page 71]

Alena Hairston

Alena Hairston, who lives in Oakland, California, is currently studying for the PhD degree in psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco. She received the MFA in English and creative writing from Brown University, where she won the John Hawkes Memorial Prize for Fiction. The Logan Topographies, her first volume of poems, was a selected winner for Bear Star Press's Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Award and a publication selection for CavanKerry Press. The collection was published by Persea Books, which awarded it the Lexi Rudnitsky Memorial Prize for Poetry. She is an instructor of English at Solano College in Fairfield, California.


* For Doug (1974-2005).



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pp. 70-71
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