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


by George Bishop


The old Coke plant’s coming down, the one

that never made it as Mike’s Dry Cleaning

and became the haunted building on Main,

tinted windows telling more stories than…

Sunday. Two Caterpillars are lined up off

to the side that’s not a side anymore, chalked

with resistance. Not far away a Holiday Inn’s

half gone, the lobby looking like Roman ruins,

the sky checking in, checking out. I wish I was

so quick to clear wreckage, to plumb and square,

put something up in its place, a strip mall or bank,

something that never loses its feel of emptiness.

My plans change daily depending on my plans.

Most days I feel lucky my heart’s only had a few

things torn apart, I feel content owning patches


of weeds and wildflowers where love crafted

intricate ends, insisted on additions and finally

left things for new owners. Then, I see surveyors

with elaborate scopes mounted on tripods, men

in heavy boots arriving ready to go underground,

landscapers trading sketches—it’s tempting

to smell the shavings of sharp pencils again,

to conjure a draftsman doubling as a demolition

crew copying your measurements. But, today

I’m enjoying a turtle green bottle of ice cold Coke,

leaning into a morning perfectly designed for

destruction—somewhere inside the earth shakes,

implosions of sadness and joy are pulling me in

and dust defines the air like unnamed angels

taking turns blessing the vacancy of open graves.