you throw money at the land and sprout houses and driveways and fences stitched into the red clay my clay sharp angles don’t belong in nature don’t belong anywhere especially not here Twain said the world doesn’t owe you anything and he was right the dirt was here first you don’t get to rip away the life and dig around for favors all the softness is shrinking because you cover and cover and cover it up until the mud is oozing out of a patchwork shell like the earth needs armor (it shouldn’t) but in the south when you stab the land it bleeds