Post Road Magazine #22

The Bridges Are on the Ground

Alessandra Simmons

The bridges are on the ground, the road

angles — pointing both to the sky & rubble.

In thick lines, with few bandages, drippings

of people find their countryside cousins.

Do you have a place for me, a piece of

soft ground, can you grow vaccines for me. Can

you stop the bleeding.

And in the soft chair I vacuumed around,

you see the curtains I dusted, the stacks

of books I sorted. Her fallen picture

underneath your chair, the train-stolen child,

her thoughts away from you, your thoughts always

toward her, the child, train-tricked into heaven.

Gravestones are only growing thinner.

No one buries the dead these days. Soon no

green will grow here. Everyone will be cinnamon

dusting the sea. Everyone

will be cinnamon.

The law library desk lamp's gold chain hangs

beneath your chin. I can see it from here.

His fingers clicking like the train tracks, his

fingers clicking on the keyboard like

the train tracks. Clicking. If he ceases typing,

if he ceases breathing, he'll hear the train.

He will hear the train & her bones, her train

and the bones. He will hear the train & her

sighs & his thoughts will not be far away

from her. Everything tastes of cinnamon.

Chord & Hem

Alessandra Simmons

Blessed one who patterned

we built factories, threaded

bobbins, melted buttons,

stoked engines, mixed vats

of indigo to stay in from the cold.

Now, the iron & board threaten

with steam & flat surface.

In unison we mouth: Hosanna,

Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest

and the seams of our clothes,

every stitch, every "Wash

in Warm Water" "Hecho

en Mexico," or "Fabrique

en Vietnam," fevers with song:

Deliver us, deliver us & quickly.

Blessed one whose hand

and foot never worked a needle

or peddled a sewing machine

but knows the ache & cramp

of lace & pleat. Blessed, deliver

us from jean & blouse. Hosanna

until we are naked.

We climb & lift with chord

& hem until our ribs flay open

stairwells to a golden ridge

where trees confess from each blossom

twelve different harvests.

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