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That year they rode low in the water
on a ballast of oaths and convicted emotions

moved on to springtime ports
past the Pig and Sows reef
and the ridiculously expensive prison
lost steerage in a lull of unconcern
and absent-minded fishing.

In those days an invasion
was a kind of plague jellyfish
or cold front
that blew in early, unseasonal.
           Everyone was hitching rides.
When someone entered
new seasons of exchange - fluids, fire,
language and metal -
someone else exited.
They were what they made, and what they couldn't
someone else did.
Another's lack seemed
no more than their own.
All land codified
as the visible,
scoured and clearfelled,
great land
of the forever language.

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