By Tricia Orr

In what may be her last message to me
she says she likes taking photographs
of abandoned places.

My city is abundant in that respect.
She says she knows this. One day
this summer she might visit and
go exploring. I take this as polite talk.

Still, I unfold my maps and trace my finger
across searching for the most authentic-looking
ruins. Perhaps I should show her the forlorn church
On E. 67th, moss creeping up the bricks,
a red Hells Angels sign nailed to a nearby house.

Or maybe the massive warehouse
once used for making filament for lightbulbs.
Walls partially intact, open to the sky.

Some locals suspect the building spreads a little each year.
As though the weeds are the workers now,
carrying the building on their backs,
forcing us to come face to face
with what we’ve lost,

with what we might still recover. ■



Tricia Orr‘s short stories, essays and poems have appeared in Zoomorphic, Belt, The Vignette Review, A Hundred Gourds, Rust + Moth and others. If she’s not home, you can find her in the woods. If she is home, you can find her writing…or building elaborate cat forts.

Cover image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0).

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