The suburb goes one way,
chimney smoke the other. One plane tree; its bole wide as
a well, lava flow of roots massing at the base,
next to the rusty rail line. A derelict munitions factory,
wall graffiti that reads, ‘No certainties in this life.’
Everything seems to be pushing away
from itself – clouds scroll Spanish like a rubric of skunks
on the move, clustering, only to expand and contract.
Those brick facades
down main street, faded dull as dried blood, each with
its fugitive dank doorway, reeking of urine, or something worse.
There’s no one to be seen, as if the rapture had hit,
but this one orchestrated by neo-liberalism.
Nobody talks about the Mayor’s
speech he gave a few years back; the brouhaha it caused,
the boosterism, hand claps and backslaps –
turning the munitions factory into a ‘museum/theme park,’
‘revitalization of our abandoned factory town.’
Someone talked about making a
documentary, but that never got done. Winter snows make
up for lack of heart, turning this place into some sort
of soft lens crime scene – from the helicopter’s perspective,
seems peaceful enough down there, fairyland graveyard,
nicely packaged rust-belt town. Trenchant as a death notice.