From up here, the last
of the manicured
cul-de-sacs seem to
curl a wary eye
away from their rough
industrial neighbors.

Yards hug fences tight
about their shoulders
and shrug up at us
as the train drones by.

Fences curse and keen
in the vernacular
of graffiti—serifs
filed sharp as knives.

Where the warehouse roofs
go long and flat, the letters
have room to get louder,
colors radiating pride
and anger like heat
off a jet engine.

Up here, we keep still.
The ones who don't sleep
fall into the lazy
posture of looking down.

The sleepers know better.
We remember what
happened to Lot's wife.
We know nothing good
comes from looking back.

Eyelids flickering in fear
of missing our station,
in our dreams we are lost
among the row houses,
shopping for spray paint
so that someone
will know our names.

 

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