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Town and Through It

ISSUE:  Spring 1994
I think it is the wall of the self the engines
imitate, coating everything with their busyness.
The engines of trains hooking track line
to wheel space until they turn on some other town.
Even at night when the birds are dead ringers
for galls, tree knobs, still the hum
of machines waxes proud. Even back on the private bridge

I trespass, it is the wall of the self, I think, the engines
imitate, heating everything. Underneath the crowds
of generated noise, the river, which is a stream,
a body-wide creek, husks off its hand-sized mumblings.
The water braids and the water purls.
Some mollifying trickle-song for the ear of man.
Underneath my body. Underneath the air and ice.

In winter more than ever the creek is next of kin.
Frozen some, it has skin and bones. Narcissus
in the dark hears himself in it. The sounds of water lattice
under frozen water and want through. On the bridge
that joins property—the walls lit by floodlight—
the cars and train engines and wheels-to-tracks
mask some what’s beneath my feet: the offspring of sky.


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