Where have your wanderings finally brought you,
I wondered, finger-tracing the crease-cut roadmap
you flattened in with your letter. You spoke of fields
thorned with iron shavings, broken railway ties soaked
sweet with creosote, and mounds of soot that sat
like cooked fleas alongside faint trails of ruts
and weeds. You said you thought that the tons†
of barkless trees were stacks of sun-bleached bones.
You didnít know what to do with them, the mounds
and the bones, but you figured one would become
the other soon anyway. You wrote that when you looked
into gray canals from empty bridges, only the famished
sky glared back. And that the last ember of recognition
nearly drowned before you realized that this was home.