All day the air was fog;
couldn’t see
the barbed wire, rusting
scraps, stacks
and stacks of pallets,
the tar paper roof
of Dreamer’s shack,
the underground
caverns of salt hardening
around bones.

                      The fog says,
Who will save
Detroit now?
A toothless face
in a window shakes No,
sore fingers
that want to be still
say, Not me.
Not far away from where
Youmna lies
freezing in bed,
rolling her eyes, declaring,
This is a place!
the remains of mountains
wait to be moved
through smokestacks
into air.


“Fog” from A CERTAIN CLARITY: SELECTED POEMS by Lawrence Joseph. Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Joseph. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. All Rights Reserved.