Banked on the edge of town you find its broadest cement stretch.
Bear up long enough under the lathe of daylight, and you might see
Upon its white ocean
A wisp of a figure stroll from one warehouse to another,
Bucking against their unassimilable lengths.
After the emissary vanishes through a steel door, the scene appears empty.
But these expanses are freighted with hefty charters.
The city’s hammer and blowtorch,
The node that forges, channels, brings sketches to life.
You’ll get to see more inhabitants of these buildings at fixed times,
When they line up before a midget truck for their sinecure of stale icings and broken crisps.
Twelve hours later, sleek low vehicles gather in the same spot
For quiet, brusque exchanges requiring darkness.
All the rest of the time,
Nothing’s here but a cold sun shooting down Charles Sheeler trapezoid shadows,
And an occasional clang announcing a delivery’s completion.
In the parking lot, vacated by the night visitors as dawn peeps in,
A new structure settles into place,
An eighteen-wheeler parked diagonal like a knife,
A creased-faced woman on the driver side,
Dreaming off the twelve-hour hop she finished
On the interstate that hangs from a fence nearby.
This poem was published in the 14
June 14, 2020