We slow for town. The mausoleum shell

of a coaling tower, dead for fifty years,

bruises the air. The Kmart parking lot

glows in its ark of halogen, bearing trucks


and unluxurious cars; the surrounding dusk

is lit by dim stars held between the fingers

of women leaning against a chain-link fence

to smoke, and by the bleached rumor of moon.


This is their birth town, stoned, ill-fitted in

its black tar suit, one row of streetlamps half

asleep. Pole signs for vacant diners stretch


their EATs to the precarious dark. O how

each blind alley and church bleeds past us. O

how, at this speed, their lives resemble ours.


Originally published in River Styx