The Conference

THE CONFERENCE

I learned the alchemy
of bureaucracy
to conjure a few dollars
from the last piggy bank
Wall Street
has yet to falsely claim

when I was done
I left Embassy Suites
to drive a U-Haul
back to Missoula

but only if we survive
this Motel 6, in Billings

from our approach
down the poorly lit street
from the first steps in
“the lobby” I knew
that some rooms resonated
not-knowing-what-tomorrow-brings
use

far beyond the awareness
of my father-in-law
who I drove with for 24 hours
from his old stone home
in the Midwest

far beyond the privilege
of just having a home
to return to

the alchemy of bureaucracy
is no fractional trading
or quantitative easing
sucking all worth
to the top

it’s telling a story
the doctors can’t tell
because they don’t even know
where to start

where do we start?
not Helena
start close to home
and from the root of that lack
branch out

—William Skink

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