Coal, Baby

In Pocahontas County, the hills spread themselves,
… easy access, a trollop without panties.
Men, black ants, swarm into, under and through
the dark earth, lifting many times their weight—
tons of shiny fire rock.

After it’s over and all the coal is stripped,
after the last quiver of sound grunts from spent machines
after wasted trees and lost limbs,
the hills stand naked,
long black gullies streak
across their sagging bellies—
stretch-marks upon holy ground.

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