Today's poem is by Sarah V. Schweig

The Sunset District

Meet me in the Sunset District, out by the shoreline,
a place named for the time of day that dies. Meet me there

where the gulls are streaked with gasoline, where hubcaps
wash ashore like giant sad sequins. These days,

from this strip of beach, I keep watching pairs of lovers
collect stones, then walk hand-in-hand

into the ocean. Have you heard? They say the city
is dying. Windblown newspapers scatter headlines,

"This Is It," they say, "What's Done
Is Done" & out here by the sea, a man in rags

tries to speak to God on a rotary phone. But meet me
by the dismantled skyscraper that used to keep all keys to the city,

that housed this borough's evening sun. From here
we might see vanishing points on the horizon

where troops & artillery wince & glitter like stolen jewelry.
Someday maybe we'll move to the country

of some distant country, but meanwhile, I'll bide my time
watching the tides, folding yesterday's paper into fleets of airplanes,

naming each one Enola. Come evening, streetlamps
flicker, streetcars rear to a halt, while the man in rags

still listens for a dial tone. "Hello?" he says, "hello?"
So take your leave & meet me, if you can, the day after

the day of oblivion, here where fog & lovers continue
to roll in with the crude tide. Here where a body in rags, clutching a phone,

is buried, by then, in black sand. We'll watch
spilt oil rainbow the bay & glint aluminum.

We'll breathe the new air incensed
with aftermath & uranium.

Copyright © 2008 Sarah V. Schweig All rights reserved
from Western Humanities Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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