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Published: Tue Jul 1 2008
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas

the tire man pulled a long
nail from our tire
with a pulling tool
a rusted sort of bent up
nail from our tire weary
with slant bright flatness
its shorn head we
kept it weary in
my pocket though
I dropped it once all
our worn tires kept their
spirits up we drove up up up
to a forest to pitch
a tent we drove
tentstakes we kept
the weary nail to watch
an industrious
woodpecker poke
up bugs from pine
bark the tree beside
us to slice a mango
before sleeping to eat
from the pocketknife tip

Don Gilliland’s poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, DIAGRAM, AGNI Online, Diner (as winner of its 2003 poetry contest), and elsewhere. He has an MFA from the University of Alabama, where he was poetry editor of The Black Warrior Review. He is now a PhD candidate at Alabama, with a dissertation focus on the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Herman Melville. He lives in Birmingham. (updated 6/2008)

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