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Keegan Lester

The Topography of a Roundabout



when there are no cameras


to translate the quiet.


when I think in the backyard:


you’ll never be manhattan


and like rushmore, the faces


in the trees look smaller in real life


who’s bark winter pealed back


look like the faces of the imaginary


forepeople that helped me


found this place. and like rushmore,


we make postcards


to help preserve their memory


during the summer months


and I apologize to everything I’ve ever loved


for overlooking the sovereignty


of your life without me.


for not seeing you were too big


for the stadium pools they kept you in


after the show. we are all created


equal parts stardust


and I gathered with the rest of them each fall


to watch the strongest collide


into each other in front of stadiums


and someone called this the italian renaissance,


medieval, the end of civilization. beauty


finds such crush inside beauty:


what was above us, had always been


above us and what was around us


now apparent only in its indifference


to what we once thought. this town:


a blistered and broken mouth—


I admit I was high when I first noticed


the tectonics of things, their movements—


the oxiheads on the staircase


now younger than me. and these


our mouths. and these our stars to share.


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