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strip malls on mars

we stopped to gaze at vacany.
empty shop windows & a dry cleaner.
the man at the desk, mannequinning
his way through summer's late dusk.
around here everyone has stopped 
having a body a long time ago.
even the grocery stores 
carry around rotten fruit like 
old pairs of eyes.
our car has a soul & begs 
for air. driving barefoot. 
kissing your knuckles.
in rural Pennsylvania 
highways spill themselves 
like confessions. our car 
was made of space ship & 
in honor of the galaxy 
we stopped to look at that early moon.
her peach-face buttoned
into curtains of blue-grey clouds.
there is a sense of emptying.
this is a place to open a door
& shove out all the furniture.
front lawns our seas of shoulders.
not far away, cow tell their young
about their own secret constellations.
you say to me "i heard mars
is out tonight." we search the sky.
pick stars like blue berries.
up the road a gas station lives 
in the hopes of encountering
a single astronaut. we don't find 
the little red planet. instead
night crashes all around.
whirls milky ways. comet tails 
or tail lights. lightning bugs
speak of dead galaxies
& only we are there to listen. 

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