Ken Rumble

We came up out of the metro at Westmoreland Circle—
sunlight fell as if wrapped in gauze and heavy as film sunlight
fell on the crowd and cars passing like the carriage of a typewriter—
on our way to Anacostia Amos and I were—we didn't step into the car,
but there we were driving south down Westmoreland—I could sense the river
(Anacostia) on the other side of the row of storefronts to the east like white symmetry—
the buildings on either side crowded the road on the verge of collapse—every block someone
had nailed the too green street signs right into the walls—when the buildings ended we followed the hill
down into the brown wooded bottom land—inlets dipped in from the river like appendixes— as I looked
back and saw what must have been civil war bunkers jutting from the north hillside like chins— I told Frank I'll
hold the wheel—look back—look at that—
a car swerved out to pass coming towards us and I swerved out and cursed—
we followed the road up out of the valley into a parking lot stitched with grass in the pavement cracks—vans and trucks with missing
doors, scraped paint, and hoods popped up like a patient stuck saying aahhh sat here and there—the cemetery gate at the far end
hung open at an angle—we circled the lot saying things like chop shop, crack den and being afraid and drove in—tomb stones parted the long
grey grass like knees in wrap around skirts—the only green was evergreen and the ocean roiled beyond—I said let's go and before they get back
and this place is dangerous—