TAG

In a city such as this, you steal Kenwood
and Harmon-Kardon stereos from row houses
and from the dashboards of badass tinted
and chromed and lowered hydraulic-injected

turbo rides with even bigger and more badass
owners and dealers and pimps and embezzlers
who all sport hate tattoos on their elbows
or ears or necks or calves or privates or scalps.

So you steal to get the slick acrylic paint
you need to spill your colors and your messages
on the rail cars.  The security guards at the rail
yards have guns, so you have made your own

invention to attach to the spray cans—a silencer
made of cardboard tp rolls, duct tape, and a plastic
bucket with a hole cut in the bottom.  You tag
with the hard acrylic so that the epistles you send

out to small towns like Flagstaff and Santa Fe
and Barstow and Huntsville and Tallahassee can
be seen for what they are:  a shout out into the void
of America, a note in a bottle that rattles on hot rails,

and you hope deep down that someone will see your words,
that they will travel the hard track back into the wild night,
that for once someone will come looking for you without
punishment or violence or retribution on their minds,

and when they arrive, accompanied by the deep echoed wail
of the rail cars and the hot dark breath of swirling prairie dreams,
you hope they will finally carry the message that saves you.

Originally published in Atlanta Review.

 
  1. literarydrunkard posted this