To her, the city smelled like formaldehyde,
preserved: a bloated corpse cracking but fighting
back. She went once, January Amtrak.
Now the rails lie rusted from the land buyout.
She dreams concrete grids lit by fluorescence
and endless steel, quaint brownstones huddled up
like penguins. Reprieve from her dailies — wheat
sagging in wind, tractor duty, grubbing
weeds — involves cosplaying urban life
while mid-kitchen, deep crimson of jarred cherries
evokes a crosswalk LED red hand.
When pop’s stroke pummels him, when Nathan’s bored
of her, she’ll fly here sparrow-winged, nest on York.
Hydrangeas now. The scent of spring is here.

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