Small Town By Lindsay Maruska

Small Town 

from the white-bone city to the
blue-smoke hills you’ve got mud
on your brand-new suits and you
were never meant for a place
so bathed in blood and dirt-

but here are mysteries in copses
slender trees turned toward the sun
and when all the marble’s been
overturned there’s nowhere else
that’s left to run but for the outlying

demotic counties, soft swing of
words, winds whispered low and
you do not belong inside the
furnace ruins left to rot in hungry

shadowed woods-

the girls who work in the diner all
have matching tattoos on their
wrists and the woman on the corner
watches you close- you swear you saw
her last in Washington Circle Park,
gnarled hands around a dripping bag-

there are no secrets had without
some sinew in return-

these hills are pockmarked with
caves, with runs of water drunk in
the dark- the high school girls in
oversized sweaters stand in a circle
in the memorial park where the bronze

soldier’s face watches you walk down
these streets; no marble here but
natural stone worn down to see what’s
underneath the older temples tied
to wood, to seasons standing head to head
and the earth has spun its magnetic

“don’t be here when the winter comes”
the waitress whispers when she passes
“it’s all fun and games when the summer
dances but wait until the green’s all gone
and we’re forced to do what must be done-

you think it’s some symbolic play
but it’s just the way we live, what we’ve
been born to- and I would run if I were

you  doesn’t listen
but she didn’t expect you

By Lindsay Maruska


Lindsay Maruska is a thirty-year-old forever student who is pursuing a second MA degree while raising one child and five dogs. She is interested in modern mythology and the intersection of regional gothic and social commentary on industrial ruin.

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