Rock House

Rock House | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Neuquén Basin is one of the few regions outside of the United States where companies are pursuing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Stuart Rankin /Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

This rock house loft can’t sustain the sway
from mile-deep brine water pumping back, it crumbles

like my hand crushed last winter,
car door slammed,
digits malformed into turnkeys
that don’t open much anymore –

like gangrene clogged my throat at seven,
poison within swallow,
not to mention malnutrition,
fluoridated well water.     Where was pure?

So tonight near Guthrie, swaying
wakes us one more time,     so we all turn
over,     shake off dreaming,     settle,
     so used to rock house roll
                                this fracking ride. 

Bottled up inside. Bottled up inside. Bottled up inside.

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke is a UC Riverside distinguished professor who comes from working fields, factories, horses and waters. Her 2021 honors include Texas Institute of Letters induction and the AWP George Garrett Award. Her latest book, Look at This Blue, is forthcoming (Coffee House Press, 2022).
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