Toxic Gulf

years since the gap first appeared between 
the teeth of a little girl picking raspberries 
from her mother's hand by the poisoned stream 

a toxic tale of porcelain has traced its tiny 
fingers round the lines on contour maps (& their 
bedroom walls they stick our portraits & sit up 

for haircuts while you look for lice (quivering 
blue & the stream's ghastly handwriting etching
metallic notes each time it rains the flow oh-so 

milky-white like a daughter's teeth it's nothing 
or a politician's grin there's nothing to be done 
we can't vote (can't even see the lead lies prone

at the bottom of the gulf between where we end 
& everybody else's first-world problems begin

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