One Soggy Afternoon in an Industrial Park

“In Betweeners” Volume 5


This place is not a wasteland.

There are trees that grow here, and flowers;

but only in designated places.

Squares and rectangles, partitioned

from the pitted parking lot.

Some of the plants go rogue and

sprout from the cracks in the asphalt like

huddled, malnourished refugees

fleeing the crowded beds.


A train used to run behind the building,

years ago, servicing

loading docks now shuttered by rust.

All that’s left are abandoned tracks,

wobbly balance beams,

perpendicular and littered

with steely spikes.

A snake greeted me there once,

a timber rattler in a coil on

the rotting ties, flailing his tail like

a terrified toddler.

I was well within his reach.

“Don’t,” I said. “I will do it myself.”

And I gladly would have,

taking up the corroded iron to

impale my arms, my feet, lying arms out

and nothing like a christ.

He bit me anyway.