Sneath Lane

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An exit sign by the airport freeway, the snatch of a laugh before the antsy terminal: a secret name for some lair or hide, a snake’s sheath, a snail’s stealthy path of slime;

till one time high on arrival & reunion (skin & eye electric, your body within reach) we succumb to a mile’s distraction & are quickly siphoned off eastwardly, wrongly,

on a ramrod avenue skirting a vast green, close-shaven deathscape, soldier’s Elysium, stone sails sunk in scrolls of wet grass–Walt’s abundant hair of graves–still serried

in ranks all these years after the final terror at Normandy, Sicily, in Korea, Vietnam; electric being, skin of longing, untamed newness smothered beneath the smug loam

& enemies, too, sequestered under the flag of eternity, defeated servants of the Axis who breathed out their strangeness & dread under Pacific skies, sucking peace’s pith;

& a last slice of lawn to stow away the fallen in America’s longest war, against itself, the bodies of Port Chicago, burnt & slung into the one black hole, call it Sneath Lane.

San Francisco