Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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back L.S. MCKEE

Company Town

Girls give in under bridges
where only headlights
slipping over guardrails
break up the dark enough to see
the river sloughing past—
baptism of frayed tire, broken glass—
where fish swim blindly,
their pale bellies tracing
the surface of water divided
and joined in the dark and above,
only the flashing lights
of smokestacks: pressure building
slowly through pipes that fold
chemicals from tank to tank
as the plant burns in the hills,
roll of fire in the river, though
it is still a light against the foreheads
of collapsing teenagers: what
their fathers, their mothers, have given:
work that would dismantle the earth
to save them, that one day
they may rest their eyes elsewhere.  end  

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