blooming bruises like wilting dandelions crushed into slivers of silence by the highway

should probably edit this more
(translated from my messy scrawl across a couple scraps of paper i scribbled on and crumpled in my pocket)

it’s different, out here. 

dismal and blank,
these are the places people have left behind
past the city
and its endless running concrete sidewalks dying out among the yellow grass
slate gray melting into tufts of frosted highway sides
and barren stretches of land coupled with straggling naked trees
trying to survive where there is no soil
and the cold is bountiful 

bumblebee and off-white lines fading and staggering
because nobody cares this far from where cars choke the road
and the weeds throw their weakling arms into the cracks of the concrete
and try to heave themselves into the dips where water collects after a storm
stagnant and murky, clouded with sparse dirt and a smell like electricity -
almost in kin with the feel air crackling with lightning, present and smoky
as moisture seeps apart and curls into the stems of dying plants 

lonely fenceposts,
worn and weathered wood splintering under the brute force of the wind
strung up wire cross swaths borne by the stakes returning to the ground
back to the earth from whence they came

rusted metal locks swing with creaks and ancient groans
like banshees wailing their quiet reminisces into the brittle air 
hanging lifeless off the wood 
with nothing to close, nothing to secure any longer

and then, past the dilapidated fences disintegrating and collapsing back into the soil, 
lie the ruined barns with their peeling red paint and breaking wall boards
crumbling into something less than nothing
and more than forever

they’re clearly abandoned,
and hanging over them like bad news over a ringing cellphone left in a dark room
is the outlined absence, lack of something like care and regard
as they wither away and the wind whips off their purpose
strips away their usefulness

like the taste of stale smoke
or engine grease underneath your fingernails
dirt-studded rock dripping iv fluid

i want to step inside them,
trace old red paint with my fingers,
both of us peeling away to empty cores

but they’re going back to the ground, 
and i’m trying to not get pulled under, 
so i suppose we’re heading in two different directions

and these things are steadily becoming a blur in the car window
thinned into the night sky
and watered-down with age

not theirs,
i feel inclined to clarify. 

mine. 

as i climb my way out of youth,
feet kicking stubbornly at the net wrapped around my neck like a choking vise, 
i recognize the world going opaque, 
hard to see like looking through a glass shower door
clogged with steam that merely crawls back faster the more you wipe it away

this, 
this is age.

it digs into the dents in my battered bones
insinuates itself into the ache in the dips of my collarbones
and lays over the ridges of my knuckles 
and it will not let go. 

these archaic grandfather barns 
and their matching companion fences
will disappear. 
dissipate -

i’ll just change. 

maybe it’s not so different, 
out here. 

The End

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