Saturday Poem / nature's design

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at the top of the train trestle on purple night evenings
we brought food and drink and smoke
but left ourselves on the side of the tracks
with no weeds growing through the leaves and dirt
and you tightly held my hand when i climbed inside,
practically miss-stepping and falling forward

to get there, we had to follow the ripe wood of the tracks,
inching along the ripped dandelions dead in dirt,
and when the day broke into evening
our steps quickened but we continued to move forward:
summer bugs battling through smoke
searching for solace somewhere inside

calming down, you breathed in marlboro smoke
just as i, under the same breath, sucked in the evening
and i lay my head into the soft compress of dirt
listening into the conversations of worms living inside,
shifting from side to side, finally facing forward
towards the scary crooked part of the tracks

i parted open my mouth, allowing the gooey insides
of pepperoni rolls to disappear from the evening
but the smell lingered and a single doe huffed forward
searching for a smell that got lost in her tracks
so she turned around, imprint in the dirt
and my imprint, a relaxed puff of smoke

we dangled our legs forward,
my mindset matched the notches in the tracks
i drew a fat heart in the black dirt
quickly erased it with a breath of something smoky
it was no longer sunset, just plain dark evening
and i couldn't reach what was inside

we packed up to leave, cigarette butts etched in the dirt
a slow burning ember signal left near the tracks
our bodies twisted into two clouds of smoke
heat mosquitoes buzzing from the inside
a Styrofoam cup lopsided, faced forward
the litter of what was left of the evening

Jessica Sanfilippo is a sophomore at Chatham University, where she plans to major in women's studies with a minor in business. She lives in Shadyside. Her poem is in sestina form.


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