From January; a trip to Baltimore.
Through the bus window, out of New York.
Barren scores of urban cliffs—
cloaked in winter trees
(their unexpected softness, out-of-focus)—
look like lost castles
through spectacles designed for looking at things
Dried drops on the wide panes
from another rain
lend the highway a cold look,
and the hills and ponds we pass—
everything is brown or grey or blue—
a wan blue, not of summer.
Concrete, wires, and water—
billboards and stark branches—
a plane landing. Smokestacks,
brave birds wheeling,
and as day’s light fades,
it’s replaced by the inevitable red and white sparks, the moving—
arterial illumination of intercity systems—