299 – Rail


A blued band of steel
runs the wily wilded length
of me, a flattened fist
buried in dead leaves, amber
bottles broken, sheafs of glossy women
tossed aside. The haunts of lost men.
No train runs this route, no howl
at the midnight passing spooks
the fox in his den. Just wind
singing over steel, rustling clean
the spare and glinting truth
of a track lain long ago, forged, forgotten,
true down to its tang. A rail, singular
strength, a hum radiating up
from earth, down from the heavens
in a flash, in-set inception of bone
burnished to high shine, rigid,
righteous, free of dross. The rail
no man sets inside the chest, sits
ever-ready for the locomotive’s
second coming. Shake the dirt
at its passing. Rustle up the fox
as first witness to what has come
to pass at the spine of things,
new movement through the bracken
in the broken land.

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