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Alligator Mound

In the center of a suburb, on a street with a French name,
surrounded by McMansions housing blondes,
sits the alligator mound like a beast in a Victorian zoo
we can climb it like a foam-covered sculpture in the mall

mound,
if formal, burial mound—
but no stretch of our language will say cemetery,
or sacred.

There were once hundreds of mounds on this part of the world:
a doctor in my home town built a mansion on one
I was whisked past a mound in rush hour traffic
on the way to a music lesson
I jogged past one in the park I spent summers in

Poor God—we’re always shoveling words into their mouth
god said go to war, god said go west, build a starbucks,
god said it is sinful to be poor, to be ugly, to be fat

when any God worth their salt would say nothing,
or if feeling loquacious, they would say—
wrapping their mouth around our strange language—
listen, or even better, be still.


Abigail Goodhart received their MFA at Western Michigan University. They have published poems in Atlanta Review, Passages North, and Sugar House Review. They live in Columbus, Ohio.

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