State of Missouri
by A. Adams Elias
Like a freight train, rumbling the eves of tired Victorians,
Like the dumb dripping night, where wet leaves lie discarded,
Like the horns for the crossing a half-mile on, a reminder
Of my solitude perpetual, perpetually singular:
I pass on.
Like the taste of cheap oolong in a thrift-store teapot,
Like desperate bacon, cork board, and rust in the pipes,
It returns to me, Saint Louis, where the river Des Peres*
goes, buried under, covered over, but very there:
It flows on.
Not even the muddy monstrous Mississippi river god
Dares take me in — except to strand me later, alone.
Did I see too well? Did my fate’s currents pull too strong?
Did I love too deeply for this transient town? Or
Did I drown?
*“Des Peres” is pronounced “d’pair.”
Copyright © 2017 by A. Adams Elias.