Early into Emptiness

Waiting to cross,
I stand back from the corner,
turn away from a truck’s blast.
Wide sun washes the intersection,
splashes across fake brick of Imperial houses.
Parked on side streets, the townhome rows,
Range Rover, Saab, Lexus align fenced lawns.
Fall’s easy first wind tumbles
empty bottles, a worn blue mask.
Grackles hop the handles of carts
stranded on the median.
Shoelace dragging, I walk
to my hybrid ride, navigate
to a fast food breakfast.

The crosstown train makes its second run.
On the underpass sidewalk, tent flaps open,
dog packs roam in assembly.
Routine drags me past
my Nineties steepled apartment,
the poets favored, fine wine café.
Small kindnesses arrayed—
dew refreshed across a live oak courtyard,
store lights still burning overnight,
a runner’s flexing stretch before their miles,
are the narrative saved across torn pages.

R.T. Castleberry's work has appeared in Dissident Voice, Blue Collar Review, K’in, Pedestal Magazine, Misfit, Trajectory, The Alembic and Switchback. Internationally, it has been published in Canada, Great Britain, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Portugal. the Philippines and Antarctica. I’ve had poetry in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice, The Weight of Addition, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, You Can Hear the Ocean: An Anthology of Classic and Current Poetry and Level Land: Poetry For and About the I35 Corridor. Read other articles by R.T..