FEATURED AUTHOR
Sober

Today I saw a motorcycle
 with a license place that read
 SOBER above its back fender.

I’ve seen it here before, parked
 along the scaffold-covered sidewalk
 next to the old campus library

set for demolition.
 Whose is it, I wonder.
 What student, what teacher

enters the morning
 half lost in shadows to park
 next to ruin every day?

I can stand for hours watching men
 in red hard hats, etched in tattoos,
 spraying down rubble with water hoses

to keep dust from flying
 into the blue September sky
 while another wall falls,

watching an excavator outstretch
 its giraffe neck to remove concrete
 and steel from the cadaverous body

now hollow, long drained of life, unstable
 under the weight of words, under
 the knowledge of itself.

How easy it is to get caught up
 in destruction, and how hard it is
 to rebuild

back from obliteration—
 not from one massive implosion
 or the forged steel of a wrecking ball,

but drawing the earth backwards piece by piece.
 Maybe the bike belongs to a hard hat
 who wears ruin like a safety vest,

like scaffolding
 coiled in the greenest ivy
 as the process of rewilding begins.

 

 

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