quarter pounders
  Rob Thomas

when I was eight we would place
pennies on the track, for freight trains to squish
to the thickness of a thumbnail,
then press an ear to the cool rail
to heighten our anticipation
we tried quarters too, but not many

as a teen, in winter, drunk on the rails
a waddling family of skunk surprised us
and I pissed myself, a blush of warmth,
though the family spared us further indignity

this is why I imagined
those hunks of meat and splintered bone
were just some other animal

after the visitation, we lay on the grass
of the hydro corridor, behind Mulligan’s house,
smoked pot and stared at the festooned wires
that seemed to stretch on and on forever

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