Four Poems by Brett Stuckel

Our Work

Pipe juts
from a mudbank,
a factory wall,
a highway side,
rusty
and sludgy
and pure,
doing its job, never
complaining yet chosen
as the one to be plugged.
It freezes,
ruptures,
is replaced.

*

Shared Rails

You shivered,
dodged overtime
skunks, and flagged
the train at dawn.

Now I gamble
and roll on
the parkway, spar
with trucks in the fog.

My car is old
and too slow, wobbling
out of style, front seat
wide as the Hudson.

Traffic is my train, electric
circuit, rail
that shocks as you
warned.

*

Fired and Ice

Walk a mile
across the waist
of an hourglass
lake in rubber-soled
boots, across the dark
and bubbled thick-slab
ice, across its mottled
patches and pressure
cracks as twangs
pop beneath, your chin
goes numb.
Remember you
were fired, split
within. Gravity
and ice are all you
need to cleave, break
bones and bleed.
Shuffle, wrapped
in the fear you’re here
to forget.

*

Card to Business

I’ve carried you
in my wallet
so long
your corners are furry
and you’re worried
with cracks and creases.

You’re the only way
to remember the person
I was
so briefly, the person
you told me to be.

*

Brett Stuckel’s writing has appeared in Electric Literature, Hobart, Split Lip Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and is online at @1kMarquis and http://www.brettstuckel.com.