pieces (20170501)

silent tracks this morning

but so much glass
glittering on the ground
were the wind to pick up
the air would cut me
to pieces

i follow the rails in shoes
with soles so thin
i feel every facet of every stone
trying to pierce my feet

though empty, i have seen the trains

not the romantic locomotives
with porters and bewatched conductors
crowded dining cars
mysterious liaisons
but industrial bulk behemoths
the color of rust
the odor of old burned oil
delivering invisibles
in closed cars

i walk the middle of the track
wood
gravel
wood
gravel
iron on either side

a shirtless jogger approaches
loping toward me
glistening in the sun
i imagine myself
in a coat hanging past the knee
a dusty, wide-brimmed hat
arm relaxed but ready
to draw at my side

another poet’s words
write themselves nearby
first in soot
then in blood:
inspired by beauty
betrayed by lust
abandon[ed] by greed
enslaved by guilt

the jogger turns
the wind rises
and i am cut to pieces

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