The train axle still rests on the railway tracks
its solid metal wheels lodged in the dirt,
the dandelions and yellow weeds the color
of a yellow sweatshirt, push through the gravel
with the persistence of something not planted,
unplanned. I am trailed by the detritus,
the reminders in mute things,
by the needle oak and the green benches at Weaver,
and the railway car, now a bar, and the parking lot
where once I stopped you, and here I sit in silence.
Love gone, empties the world of brightness,
the trees are paper cut-outs propped on stands,
the green fields of Pessoa are dead and brown,
the flowery hue of a buttercup shirt, the squirrels,
in quiet industry, remind me of your hands.
I want to lie down in a field in North Carolina
and let the June bugs carry me,
let the stiff grass grow through me
let the weeds and dandelions feed from this sadness
and grow tall again, uncut, like the ones that still live
by this steel axle, the one left anchored
in the red earth and creosote of Carrboro Station.
Copyright © 2019 by Stephanos Papadopoulos. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 19, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.