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  You could have a big dipper   

We live off the last stop of the T by Lyss Cypher

West Library,

and then some.

Driving through winding wooded roads

at questionable speed,

unexpected blind spots,


Green Man’s Tunnel on Piney Fork,

crick waters that cool bare feet.

We build forts

of leftover lumber, sticks, packed earth.

We dig up train tracks coal

and imagine diamonds,

pockets filled:

smashed pennies and railroad spikes,

running on dicey wooden bridge beams,

wild enough to make a game of it.

Dads cook whole hogs on the backyard spit,

dump gasoline on boxes of fireworks

and set them ablaze

in the middle of the road.

Jimbo and Chuck,

local ice cream truck drivers,

feud at the top of the hill

for our hard-earned allowances.

That one year earwigs invaded our cereal boxes.

As we dismantle the deck dad built,

relic of his life,

discover our foundation is a landfill.

We dig up old shoe soles,

blue-tint glass trinkets,

learn about Mine Subsidence Insurance,

and spin tales of yesteryears

when everything was still intact and whole.


Lyss Cypher (they/them) is a community organizer and writer in Pittsburgh. They spend their time organizing radical mental health mutual aid spaces, dancing alone in their office, and naming all the wild birds that visit their yard. You can find them on Instagram @PoemsThatInjure.

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