Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

The Rails, The Roll

 by Uche Ogbuji

 

I palm this pocket blown with heat,

The blast our breaths cajole;

Caloric trove these heaving folds.

The steel of rails, the stealthy roll.

 

The red glow calls the hammer stroke,

Sparks out on hammer down;

The blow begets a crown of frets.

We’re roused by wailing through the town.

 

I wait for heat-married metals

To cool their bent-brace smoulder,

Vain in my appeal to cool.

The steel of rails, the stealthy roll.

 

The stubborn flame still sears the air

No dousing will it drown;

The tracks are warping dangerously.

We’re roused by wailing through the town.

 

It lingers from your finger slide,

The twang of Muscle Shoals.

My sweat beads hiss your stroke’s promise.

The steel of rails, the stealthy roll.

 

So come again with your friction

At my miche metal crown;

I’m wreck-resigned, I think you’ll find.

We’re roused by wailing through the town.