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If you sit on the grass, the ground isn’t even
And it’s hardly grass, just a mix
Of weeds with bones underneath
There are pathways bricked in stone
Cascaded rock eroded by ashes. Broken glass
And cigarettes fill the caulking
Accompanied by strings of weeds. The sound of bone rolling
Is that of wood on stone. Tendons decay on grey
Bones. Useless and limp, they rot pink.
I wrapped my orange
Hole-spotted jacket ‘round my waist
And let the zipper hang, brushing
The back of my knee. A constant reminder
There is always something behind you.
Mold on the walls. Stairs covered
In white sand and shards of glass. I followed
Them. Broken stone my only platform. The railing bled
Rust. Nothing left to catch falling passengers.
Protection crumbled in your palms.
Above the staircase is only a door, accompanied
By a twenty foot drop, all too tempting
For the naked eye. Across are barred windows
Faced with a rusted lantern, gone dark for centuries.
Round, rusted pillars, thigh-thick
Run up two-thirds of the stone wall. Rafters
Connect the walls bright orange lines
On the pavement below mark where they fell
It’s always windy here
Through tattered gusts,
You can feel lives being blown
Through your ears.
There are stories in falling rock
With windows engraved but missing
Floors to connect them all. Green beer
Bottles broken, line everything in sight.
They are angry for this now. The broken
Wooden rafters make a cross
On top of piled rock. You will be hung
By the wind. The only living thing is green.
The weeds smothering anything
Within three feet of the ground, like ants
Covering the town in black. Cacti grow
From the ceiling. The wooden gate swings
Limply, restricting only shadows.
There were boulders lined in rows
Like seats in a theater. Watching
The wind until the days end. On the stage
Was a broken mast stuck in the ground
Touching the sky; the same color
As the ocean. There were even rain gutters.
Why do you hurt this place?
Why do you hurt the wind,
In all its glory? Why do you push ladders
And broken pipes and beer bottles across
The ground? Your old, soiled plastic jug
Of Tropicana. You thought I wouldn’t find it,
There by the staircase? Your orange juice
Is green and filled with stones.
Sweetness has fled.
Black cat, black cat, I found you
In the bushes. All alone,
Black cat. Unlucky? A dead cat
In the bushes. Eaten by weeds.
Probably took a swig from the old, empty
Beer bottle you left.
Tree roots acted as doorstops; knocked down
The wooden gate with a sign that claimed
Danger. Put up in the sixties protecting the home
That I loved
That you caved
The wind picked up a small piece
Of plastic. Spun it around in its grip.
My subtle wind hated.
And therefore it shattered
Any last piece of your blasted remains.
The small piece of glass in the corner
Such beauty it held.
It was gold.
It was worthy.
It was breaking
For all of the lives
Your old beer bottle held.
There are trees here.
They are green and uncarved.
They paint my patched landscape
In a land of lost lives that my