The town that birthed us,
Fed us of rivers and vertices,
The latchwork where you pressed your key
To my palm, urged on
By horses wild on the train track,
Making laundry lines of their limbs.
We folded in and cards
Fell from us, shaken in a salt wind.
Plane hangars empty
And biting down metal, hard with clot
The space between rails
Our hooves would not hook through.
Diatomaceous earth shreds the skeletons
Of insects and crustaceaous things,
Subcutaneous the damage of a thousand cuts.
I hoover up evidence of such despair
So their voices shrill at me in a cesspool,
The vacuum’s body taut as a violin.
And still I hear when I lie in bed the wings
That beat against the window pane,
The million ants descending each year
To mate against woodwork carved
In the dawn of the twentieth century.
The fermentation, pheromones they spill
Upon cement and flowering cherries in decline,
The females indistinguishable, though held alight
Often by balletic whorls of their worshippers
So they have never seen the splinter, seized
Against the rough edges of this world.