There is an open field at the edge of town

where I lay in the tall grass

and looked down.

The windows of the whorehouse

the brass bed frame still there

against the pressed glass.

The peeling flowered paper on the walls.

People coming later found things:

belt buckles and round blades of saws

and green glass bottles.

The dark frame wood houses still stand

staggered on hills throughout this valley

and a few people come and walk and page

through the letters left behind that a bored

teenager pulls out in a thick, black binder.

As you stand before the photos of

stiff suited men

Chinese cooks

no woman to be seen just the rutted, muddied streets

and the wooden steps.

You think: there must have been women they loved here

women whose necks they studied

As they turned their face away in thought.

You have to believe in something to relieve the early snow

The cold.

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