exercise in Southern Gothic

train comes, its wrack
the undisguisably pickled

dregs of hope de-
composing, dreaming acidly

in blue glass, mason. so
much for bloated beginnings,

point-of-departure daggered
summer afternoons in the market

where souls are at auction as
they were lifetimes ago

and charlatans lien awned
forevers under skies that

darken and gradually un-
remember. she presses

thin dress over pale thigh, fights
wind-made wrack in torn fabric,

holds her voice white-knuckled:
what price would you pay

to drain the vinegar,
slough history, begin again?