Backsides of Buildings

Trains pass by the backsides of buildings
the crude finishes covered in graffiti that reaches
7 feet max- the grazing line for delinquency
with paints sprayed from cans, ideas showing off
to those passengers mesmerized by the outside
of the moving train; the color within the back lots
littered with abandoned cars, jeeps that look barely used
and half-crushed gray sedans, triple parked-
no one is going to be driving these for a while,
or ever again. Piles of masonry in grays, dull reds,
you wonder what new building they’ll be placed in
what abandoned warehouses and steel plants
already use similar blocks in their foundations
or whether they’ve been sitting there drenched in snow
and rain and the dryness of summer for ages;
cement hardly shows a few years of aging if it
doesn’t have a job to wear it down, or feet
to trample it. Piles of used woodchips and neatly stacked
lumber line the tracks, precariously close, but its
only building potential, not housing or people
or goods that people need daily- excuse that-
they do need lumber daily- but they don’t see it in
this form, a form that doesn’t mind hearing
the metal beast race by with giant boxes
stacked in crude colors, marked with graffiti
whose origins could have been anywhere
and the next signature could be from across the states,
these boxcars and metal holders zooming or lazily
drooling across miles and miles of slick metal track
with the rotting baseboards; here it doesn’t matter
how it looks, as long as it works, as long as
passenger or package number 323 gets from point A
go point B. It’s a matter of efficiency and destinations,
not what’s beautiful to the eye, by societies’ standards,
we’re not expecting luxury outside, hardly inside,
just a seat with a bit of leg room and no smoking signs.
No one really looks out the windows much at the river
flowing cold and grey with birds on the shore
and debris swirling in the currents or the rusting boxcars
that make you wonder what their last mission was
if they stopped short and they have some secret
treasure inside, even if it’s just a delivery of lumber
or cement blocks from one of those backside yards.

Creative Commons License
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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