Reports of the Crash

You could hear the kiss
	of impact eight blocks away, 
bystanders said, 
	the bump

			and grind of metal

upon metal as two trains 
				chew, chew, chewed 	up track, 

their steel teeth meshing 
with the force of 40 tons of speed.

The papers say it was a mistake
by out-of-state
men, who on a whim 
	decided each train 

									wanted to travel 
the same sliver of rail 
from opposite directions 
at high noon 
on a silver day 
in a Wisconsin January.

There is rumor of four 	unidentifieds 
					being carted 
						away from the carnage,

	cleft and tortured
		into shapes never before seen in nature.
Observers report

	overturned tankers 
themselves of cargo, pink 
					chemicals flowing into 	broad 
					banks of maiden snow. 

They say it looks like 	the scene 
of a bloody little fistfight, 
						a fight that could happen anywhere, 

anytime of day, 
at the 
of any small town. 

"You can walk away 
from something like that 	unscathed,"  
says the TV reporter, 
	"or you can walk away
	His microphone shimmies 

in the cold and he giggles 
			at nothing
like shoolgirls passing
a graveyard. 		

By Tuesday all the 	gossips
		have told their stories 

		until their tongues are dry, dry as the fallen lumber of the flatbed car 	that ran amuk, 

			its spintered timber
creating random crucifixes in the snow.

One engine swallowed 
the other
	and there's nothing left to tell. 
			The frigid rails are clear
and someone is shoveling 
						sand over the pink


	 By noon other trains 	will cover 	the tracks.   


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