“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.