Dark Lands

I.

 

This is oil country—

dark lands

where obsidian rivers

scissor out of mountain

ridges sunk deep,

their voids

thick tar.

 

II.

 

Everyday a sunset dies,

the dull-iron sun

snuffing itself out

and sealing itself closed

beneath the charred earth,

its smoke

dancing ghosts.

 

III.

 

Steel bones jut out

from a ribcage rusting

in a junkyard where

a car lies collapsed,

its blackened shell a shadow

above puddles

reflecting rainbows. 

 

IV.

 

A metallic smell hovers

over dead things

floating downstream.

The air is still

pulsing, its electricity

flashing like knives

and the thunder hammering

light out

into a silver foil.

 

V.

 

The few

wandering stragglers here

taste only ashes

on leaden tongues stuck out,

their mouths open

like blistered deserts

awaiting raindrops.