Dispatch II

Foot 1
By Alisha Attella

The rusted bales of barbed wire sit tidy
on the pallets while long arms of ivy grow in,
running all through the powdered orange vines.

A round woman stands by them.
Tight stretched pants anchor her
come here grab toward her man’s hips,

He has a ponytail pulled down through the back of his cap.
It brushes to the front as he leans in to pull her close.
Work is over, and they’ll be off to have a beer or a fuck.
It might be enough until the next shift ends.

The way that ivy’s growing, you’ll barely see the bales
by August, it’ll be a good place to hang-out and add to the
bottles and condoms that litter the corners of this short walk past
a plastic factory and a chroming shop and another plastic factory
and a lone house marooned in the midst of industry.

The little ranch is filled with scrap metal livestock
and the people are never on the porch, but
rusty bits from the warehouses are strewn across the
dirt and arranged into piles while no one looks.

Stiff springs lean in the yard and the tin flutters;
the men who get to their jobs in the early morning
swear that they can hear the whine of hungry cows
and the rustling of chickens waking with the sun.

The boys and girls who leave work at night
have gone home to their husbands and wives
but their rubbish leaves will stay, falling
in the summer and browning by the fall.

Bottles fill with sand, the wrappers curl
and their sun-baked-cello-edges peel back
hurling expiration dates at the musty air,
waiting to be mulched by next season’s work.

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