Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2023  Vol. 21  No.3
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Wreck Name: Unknown No. 3
Pines, Indiana

Everything is & will be starboard from here,
out toward the harbor. What can this say about iron,
its absence of light—
that hasn’t already been shown. To carry
a freight of steel from here to Duluth, & returned filled
with coal—is the way midwestern cities were made
in the same repetitive refrain. The stern
is faced toward the steel
mills, & port of here is Chicago.
It is a foggy morning,
but the city is still visible. Michiana
Shores, & the car is parked at
St. Ann of the Dunes
& she watches the wreck the way a mother would
peer out a window toward her children
discovering some thing or plant in the backyard.
It’s not useless to freight, to carry
now nothing but sunken
hideous lake life. To forget a name.
To go undiscovered so long & to think it might
have been best left that way.
The waves are picking up.
It had a name.
Say city say bridge say builder—
say mother whistling her children home.
There is a green now growing on the wreck—
it did what it had to do. I—finally, I—look up
& out at the things it carried to hold us in the sky.
It is not the sky. Have faith in objects if you want.
If there is steel among the remnants—
have faith before the dune shore buries it.  

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