AMTRACK, HEADING NORTH
Slow train through the wastes,
scrubby fields bordered with junkyards.
Berry-bushes, orange grasses,
a hill with a broadcast tower.
An elegant gate,
that must once
have been an entry.
Rusty. Rusty metal.
A duck, and its wake.
Nacreous water under sudden clouds.
A tumult of clouds toward sundown.
a sky-battle westward.
These trees that will die in water.
Gray building against a gray sky, but in
the sky a glow of light,
a hope of weather. The building
a slaughter house.
And the river broadens toward bay-water.
The bay. Marshlands.
Now, quilted cumulus, tremendous and close.
A dead tree
points as if shrieking.
eating and spewing light. The town
a toy beneath them. The ground could
open, but the sky?
Across the aisle a girl waves strangely,
palm erect, fingers straight,
hinged at the knuckles. Saying
goodbye. Her mouth and chin wrinkled against tears.
All gray now—on the sound
Its thin reflection keeps pace with the train, and the land
and the water and sky
don't swallow anything.
Even in darkness the sky wheels,
moves forward, the sun
west, my body
a society of motion.
Across the way
she sucks at her collar.