James Diaz

The Quick Side of Night, Wailing 

Rita is on the edge
of town tonight 
the sound of the rails 
are coming in like rain
through a hole in the roof

just one more thing
you can’t keep out

when is love not more give than take 
the car is rolling and there’s no brakes 
something about the levee can’t hold back
when the floodplain / the vein / just gives right in

been through the burnout / rehab stints /
the decades of bad luck / bad checks /
old story / you know it?
then don’t look down like that
on what you ain’t, for one second,
been in knee deep
and no way out

trash bag on her car window
it’s no fucking metaphor
it’s making due
with whatever you have tucked
underneath the driver’s seat

there must be light
in all this somewhere
or else why even try, right?

you open the book
and not a damn word of it
feels right tonight
Rita’s chucking bottles at trains 
screaming about Ray and Daddy 
and when
oh fucking when
is it gonna end 

you think the night is long?
you’ve no idea 
how fast it goes 
down here

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