29 (2B at “The Tannery”)

You and I.  Then we, on the railroad tracks. / walking the blue-gray and rusty byway. / Rocks to throw, spikes to keep, and nuts and bolts / to wonder how it holds, what fell apart. / Beyond the houses, the valley, the pond, / the farms, the charred foundations of the school: / a distant mountain of shining diamonds, / much farther than we thought, and up close, coal. / We sit in the shade of a mining cart, / wish for kaeng khiao wan—strip by the high voltage / of a bulldozer cab.  That end of May. / Once a day, once a night: thunder and clack, / teeth rattling in our gums, as the freight cars passed.


originally published in the Coffin Factory