By Caleb Gill 

The oil company’s crude silos
mottled with soot and noxious runoff
obstruct the Allegheny valley
rugged beyond our rowhouse.

Narrow is the split
in the shade drawn
through which floodlights
from gasoline tankers
leak into our front room—
emit the blight of razorwire
quivering in shadow
on a canvas barefaced
at the easel.

The coat of gesso dried days ago.
I try reviving myself
in brushstrokes —
palpitations reanimating
some holy hinge
of perception.

Instead I blotch.

And the crow that shellacs
the semi’s windshield
depresses in wet paint.

Caleb Gill was born in Louisville, Kentucky and attended Kent State University before earning his MFA from Chatham University. His poems have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Appalachian Heritage, and elsewhere. He gardens with his wife and dogs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he works for the University of Pittsburgh Press.