magnetic declination

living so close
to the Mississippi River
she knows true north

lets lines of scrutiny
resurface along her forehead
under three new moons

and five recycled stars
the same night
robots begin to pace outside

a motion sickness
sea monster pokes its head
above gray before it turns green waves

at the most awkward moment
loses its way
more serpent than yeti

even as the palm of her own left hand
makes her nauseous
she won’t stop moving

will not amputate
will not break her own spine
before the library whisperer’s feet

everything hinges
on these shoulder blades
and those black birds

taking flight
through the propped-open
door to the lab

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