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MOAB (2006)

Weave through Labryinth Canyon
Memorize the trail
Beauty that someone impatient
Parcelled out for sale

The drunken smile of a father
While something is taken
Forbidden and unearned
Giving a lesson that can’t be unlearned
In Moab

Pass through the juniper forests
Rest at Bowknot Bend
Watch while the so-called protectors
Discard what they defend

The secret glee of a daughter
Aware she’s defiling
The meaning of her role
Losing her self with her selfish goal
In Moab

Once you shake hands with desecration
Your hands never lose the taint
You can scar them with abrasions
Like you’re scrubbing off old paint
And you can march
And you can argue
You can ask and ask
And ask and ask
And ask and ask
And ask

And you might get an explanation
But you’ll never see restraint

Cry for the red rock country
Mourn for the bartered land
Another scrap of empty soil
Chiseled out and planned

Something in what is created
May remind you
But you can’t look behind you
And even if you could
Pillars of salt where a forest stood
In Moab

I read an article about land use in the Moab Valley in Utah. The federal and state government have been looking for ways to redefine what (and what isn’t) protected land, so that the area can be developed.

I looked up the story of Moab in the bible, and the incest in it, and used it as a basis to write about the defiling of the land.

crumpled paper