Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Where the Feeling Deserts Us

I wake somewhere on the outskirts of Portland.
The crickets are singing. The train is refusing
to breathe. Off in the distance a truck gears down
on a service road bordered in trees. The river
beside me, babbling kind. Headache. Earache.
All I can see of the field dissolves in a stale white blanket
of moon. Nothing moves. Even the cold machinery
seems to be riding itself in a dream.
Sliding away from the steel retainer walls.
Boxcars stalled on the next four strings. The train
is my shepherd. I finger a dead leaf. Star-lights dance
in the field beyond my cage. We are never returning
to the field itself, only the mystery hidden inside.
Night after night in the speed of your leaving.
Soft of your veined hands tracing my thigh.
The flavor of dust where the feeling deserts us.
Maybe the blonde heads of needlegrass swaying.
Bodies of cows in the next field over. I pull up the blanket
to cover my bare arms. Cool air filled
with the pressures of falling dew. This is the best
I can give for a reason—the metal accepts you,
whoever you are. The train you are riding will only
go forward. The straight line is perfectly clear.  

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