Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Sundown at the Coal Refinery



Laramie unwinds across the train tracks
into ruins, riotous in a catastrophe of sunlight and weeds.
The ribcage of a car, covered in earth and grass, attempts sleep;
a clatter of dirty pigeons streams suddenly under the skylight
of the old coal refinery. Just this morning, a detonation
of blossoms,  and the buildings
wear furred petals, shake them off in the wind
as a woman might carelessly shrug off a dress at day’s end.
The graffiti recounts a longing for otherness—
maybe visited, maybe dreamt of: Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago.

I know nothing.

On the threshold of night, perhaps a re-population:
A man curls into his mattress beneath the feathering mass of pigeons,
a dog folds underneath the hood of the sleeping car,
and, skirting the wrecked field, a girl with a spray can
and a bottle of Boone’s Farm: the whole heaven
and hell of her life coiled inside the bell of her body.

Katie Schmid is a second year student in the University of Wyoming’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her poem “Jobs” was selected for inclusion in Meridian‘s Best New Poets of 2009 anthology. She’s from Chicago.