American Landscape

In a mansion the woman with heart-shaped legs
scales the long stairs her intention intact,
only to fall asleep in a warm shaft of light.

In an iron mine a boy inhales red dust in his father’s wake.
Dark shafts, a promise of light at the end,
lead only to slag heaps. It is twilight on the Iron Range.

In a sweatshop the young girl’s fingers begin to bleed.
She puts on gloves, blood fills the fingertips.
She cannot grip the thread. She cannot feel her arms.

Somewhere in America a man stumbles on mausoleum steps.
Locked doors seal bones and dust deep in a marble shaft.
Pressing his face to the cold stone he whispers Please let me in.