The blood stains on the barn walls
are too scary to put a third grade
halloween party metaphor on.

Dried blood turns dingy yellow first,
then burnt orange, then dark brown.

The amount of churches per state
and meth labs per state
have the same regional spike in number.

The closer you live to the
center of the Bible Belt
the smaller you think it is.

The closer you live to the
center of the Meth Belt
the bigger you think it is.

"Same difference" works as an
explanation of
ignorance and acceptance.

'Round here, a family
bible page bent
where hills hide behind
the feeling flatlanders
find comfort in.

Corn stalks talk swift whispers.

Tassels whiplash, intertwine
in an anxious soft conversation.

They have conspiracy theories
about combines, farmers,
and anhydrous ammonia fumes
from across the field,
don't talk much to outsiders.

Soybean dust storms swirl,
then fall like a fine snow.

The dry precipitation clogs
noses and throats for miles and hours.

It will eventually feed millions.

For now,
we choke.

WIL GIBSON lives in Humboldt County, California. He published five book-length collections of poetry and has been included in a number of anthologies and literature magazines, such as Marsh Hawk Review, Button Poetry, Midwestern Gothic, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Cascadia Rising, Collective Unrest, and Yellow Chair Review. He has twice been nominated for both a Pushcart and Best of the Net award. Wil currently spearheads the Redwood Poetry Project. You'll find links to books and more info at wilgibson.com