Manifest Nothing

Gray expanse cluttered with industry and broken wheels.

I read in a book and had it placed in my head that it’ll take me somewhere someday.


The words tumble out the same as they always have;

Grow here, grow old, grow away, wither quietly,

wilting violently in the heat of a southern sun.


Every bump on the path is laid with no intention beside potential derision

as a puppet master shakes their head at the twisting of their name.

Grit those teeth and keep blood below the boiling point

because there’s said to be promise beyond the flat green totality.


And it screams in the radio when a different song is playing,

or in the hum of the engine struggling to deal with the potholes:

The everlasting beckoning of a dream that’s not there;

A future that’s rusted around its waist.


These passing structures attest to a past that is drifting by.

The white of the cold months wipes the dull slate clean,

readying for a year of conquest with the return of the most vacant bright color.

In a cycle it turns in time with the shifting of the night;

A repetitive fable of a place set in nowhere with an aspiration for somewhere less.


Grow here, grow old, grow away, wither quietly,

sinking dispassionately in a heap of southern sand.


The gray stretches on, having no limitations on its sprawling limbs,

Every nondescript station a dot on a broader horizon as exhaust climbs higher.

Submerged in a quiet desperation do I find my numbing mind,

the details that were never there magnified in their empty scale.

I swear at this point I must have been a passenger to every tree in the land,

their bark the conduit of the hollow myths currency is traded for.


This rust is rubbing off onto the fabric of these bones.

There’s no boundary to the sky so there’s no telling why I saw an end to the stars.

The roaring nothing is never lost on my ears.

( ❤ Mitch)