I told him I was Bird Rocked,
like a beached whale,
my carcass rotting in the heat
and flies gathering.

Last night I imagined
an underground railroad
running next door,
engines at even intervals
throughout the night,
until I saw through the trees
that the sky had gone
from black to gray,
the branches moving in a vacuum
without audible protest,
my world as still
as I left it.

It has come to this,
believing an underground escape
is at hand.

Today the neighbor denies
knowledge of hope.
I hear whistles,
feel steam in the air.

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