I am walking down the tracks
In the bright sun.
The steel worker
Who emptied the crates of beer
And rolled out the barrel to the staging depot
Is asleep under his own belly
Covered over with the leaves of sweet excess.
The bent cleaning woman,
Advertising her rock bottom prices
From her truck on the boulevard,
Creeps in and out
When the bankers’ wives are not looking,
As though to see her upsets the economy.
And the three stand-ups
Who came to pick up the old CRT set
Were a breath of fresh soap.
Operatic but avoiding longer contact.
The mutter of the tree-bearded garbage-sifters
Along deserted highways
Has everything to do with death
And their fearlessness of it
The cranial capacity of the ant
Dwindles with the weight of brawn needed
To tug a leaf
Beyond the threshold
Of the shed’s rotting larch door.
I watch him
All along these tracks
Across the warehouse culverts,
In the overgrown sidings,
Under the backs of wholesalers’,
Between the oil-fired boilers,
The radio masts, the pylons,
And behind the concrete electrical substations,
Railroad riders do this very thing:
Carrying the weight of humanity’s conscience
For the simple indictment:
Blessed are the poor.
The least of my brothers.