The wooden scent of wagons,
the sweat of animals—these places
keep everything—breath of the cotton gin,
black damp floors of the icehouse.
Shadows the color of a mirror’s back
break across faces. The luck
is always bad. This light is brittle,
old pale hair kept in a letter.
The wheeze of porch swings and lopped gates
seeps from new mortar.
Wind from an axe that struck wood
a hundred years ago
lifts the thin flags of the town.