There you’ll find the biggest spread of cement in town.
Bear up long enough under the lathe of daylight, and you might see somebody walk from one warehouse to another,
Unconcerned by their unfeasible lengths.

After the pedestrian vanishes through a steel door, the scene appears empty.
But this belies the charters behind those expanses,
Because this district is the hammer and blowtorch of the city.
Its node for creation, for channeling goods, for bringing notions to life.

You’ll get to see the inhabitants of the buildings at fixed times,
When they exit to line up before a small truck for their sinecure of stale icings and broken crisps.

Twelve hours later, sleek low vehicles gather in the same spot
For quiet exchanges that must be done in darkness.

All the rest of the time,
Nothing’s here but a cold sun sending down Charles Sheeler trapezoid shadows.
And an occasional clang announcing a delivery’s completion.

In the parking lot, vacated by the night visitors as dawn peeps in,
An eighteen-wheeler lies diagonal like a knife,
A creased-faced woman on the driver side,
Dreaming off the twelve-hour hop she finished
On the interstate that hangs from a fence nearby.

Andy Oram
May 26, 2018

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