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Fin is from Barstow. This is a poem from his Refinery Row series.



The car moved along the freeway


toward refinery row.

the night had crept in quickly

and the derricks

quietly lifted their heads like horses

the lamps on the buildings

revealed the mansard roofs

and smooth walls with long dark windows

as the car moved past

open fields, brush

at the roadside

a long metal shelf was covered with junk

that looked like car parts

so perfectly arranged

had they been books

this would be an

exquisite library

the underpasses were empty

and the abandoned houses

with open doors

panted like sleeping mouths

The car moved past the exits

past the one named after a mountain

MLK - of course he thought -

and took the main thoroughfare

to The Row.

In the parking lot

a man with a tattooed face

was selling food stamps

for half price

a girl riding with hair like a tumbleweed

on a skate board sang

to the country song on

the portable radio she was carrying.

a couple moved a shopping cart

across the street and cackled

Somewhere there is a destination

Somewhere there is a place to be....

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