Runner-up: Salvage


           —Delray, Detroit, 2014

From this fourth story window I see
power lines eating sky, gray awnings
blocking all light from the recesses.
All neon-like; the entirety of night is
captured, drowned in inch-deep
puddles. A child half-buried in tarp,
asleep between walls.  Walls buried
up to their necks in empty shelves.
Overabundance of place. & scarcity
of the same. Self-interrogations. Sag
& soot. A man older than my father
was when he died is converting fire
hydrants to Jesus. & it seems to be
working; amen. No fire has stuck
around long enough to catch. There
is a boarded-up church just out of
reach, a weed-choked stone temple
that can’t shake off its steeple. Like
soggy piñatas, stars just hang there,
slashed open, all the sweetness torn
out. Like a barren womb. Like some
–thing we must learn the worth of
through trial & error. Like waiting
for a god or steamroller to speak up
and rephrase us.

 

 

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