The train hasn’t run since the hurricane

                                 I walk the tracks

 

a scent hidden beneath the tide

                                      sweat and trash       stagnant water

                                                                      laps against refrigerators

                                                                                          tombstones up & down the block

 

                                                            Louisiana bakes

                                                            I climb the levee’s crust

                                                                                           rise above bubbling rot 

                                             I need to sink my teeth in to what simmers beneath                                                                                                                                  the drooling sun

                                                                                                                  Bone River sheds                                                                                                             her dirty banks

                                                                                                one leg at a time 

 

go down your street            lined with pyres

                                                                        these were your trees

                                                                                    rotting fingers

                                                                        scratch at those who lost it all

                                                                        but the footprints on their backs 

 

I used to be happy with a whiff of apple pie

                                        cooling in your window

                                                                                      

once you wiped the rim of the plate

and let me lick the juice off your finger

                                                                        the scent on my breath lasted all day

 

                        I reach your house                  darkness to a dark eye

                                                                        the last rays of twilight            

                                                                                                empty sill

                                                                                    I sit beneath the edge and wait

                                                            while night falls on the back of my neck

the rising moon slices the sky

                                                            all around me        hungry strays begin to howl

 

Ampersand Review, Volume 5 This poem originally appeared in Volume 5 of The Ampersand Review.

 

 

Benjamin Lowenkron is the author of Preachers Blues and Bone River, forthcoming from Ampersand Books.  He is served as poetry editor for the next print edition of The Ampersand Review and currently teaches at Baton Rouge Community College.

Filed under: Poetry

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