The narrow kingdom of Saturday afternoon
spans sluggish Crane Creek
with its penumbra of darting midges.
Someone had the foresight to post NO TRESPASSING signs
so the four despots can be left alone.
Two take cellphone snapshots of the other pair
balancing the rails and windmilling their arms
three feet above the letters proclaiming MORE L♡VE,
a spraypainted Tweet every American teen can get behind.
Here is youth swaddled so tight
in a warm cocoon of self-absorption
they don’t feel the thrum in the ties
ignore the whistle slicing six-thirty
disregard the second trestle only a leap away.
Their realm is invaded by a black battering ram.
You’ll ask why they didn’t just dive in the water:
all I can tell you is the fixed nail wishes it, too,
could jump to the side of the falling hammer.
Here, the gaping fisherman watches a car
drag a blanket smearing red,
a tattered swatch that once had a name.
Ciara Malia Lemn, 14
Ciara Malia Lemn, 14
Jennifer Reichert, 15
and another female friend
Although Scott Urban has worked as a radio production director, a public school teacher and administrator, and a college writing instructor, he has always looked at the world through a poet’s eyes. His poetry collections include Night’s Voice and Skull Job (Horror’s Head Press), Alight (Shakin’ Outta My Heart Press), and, with Bruce Whealton, Puncture Wounds (Word Salad Press). In the late 1990s, he edited the small press poetry print zine frisson: disconcerting verse. He edited the collections The Angel of Death and Post Mortem, both by Wilmington, NC poet Jean Arthur Jones, and performance artist Ryan David Miller’s Circle of the Heart, Voices of Comfort Dreams. His work, including prose and reviews, continues to appear online and in print. After a lengthy sojourn on North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast, he moved with his family to the mist-shrouded forests of southeastern Ohio, where he now works with troubled youth. He lives in a former Amish farmhouse, which isn’t haunted—yet.
This piece can be found in his collection God's Will, which is now available from Mad Rush Books.