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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Hiding in a Well in the Northtown Yard

The neighborhood kids in the Murphy Glass parking lot
set off a series of flares. I watch them explode
in the dim clouds above me. A song in the shuffle
and scrape of their shoes, their muffled reactions.
The Cloudmaker says he invented the ghost,
where it hides in the mind. The burden of light when it suddenly
empties the eyes. The words are so clear
I can make out the sound of my name,
the pinball he carries around in his coat-pocket,
rolling it over his rings. I remember the grain-dust,
the sadness of wet wheat, riverside crosses and bottles of bleach
in the trash-littered boxcars in Dundas. Some things
never change. A grainer revs up and rolls out
in the dark. I can feel it rumble inside my leg like a heart.
A cold and full, almost motherly hand
on my side. The sky is beginning to fade.
The Hanjin font on the boxcar behind me becomes like a series
of waves. I see fish in the clouds, a turtle with a man’s face
chasing the face of a dog. A single star burns
in the darkness beyond it. Wild light. Unreal blue.
Not the blue before dark, or the blue
in the windows at dawn, but the blue before something impossible
drops from the sky. Something ragged with no brain
lands on its crooked legs, runs naked for the storm.  

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