Joliet, Eighteen


I ran out of the house
furious about something.

branches were filigree,
orange sun just beginning to set.
I strode block after block towards
the smokestacks that barred the west.
I wanted to fly past them, over the canal,
beyond the highway's steel rush of cars
to a continent's edge of wild rocks and mist.

My side ached, my lungs burned,
my hands bit with cold.
Somewhere, church bells rang.
Wind carried the torn pieces
of sound to me – lovely, strange.

A wilderness opened,
and such sadness.

(This was first published in Spoon River Poetry Review. It's in my chapbook, Shadow Town.)

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