Prayer Down Depot Road

I can’t sleep, America.
The coal cars vibrating, bulky
behind the roadhouse where I stay,
drum by the room at midnight,
at one, rattle past this insomnia.
A yellow moon stares in the windows,
spotlight on dreams twisted in a cotton bedcover.
The yellow moon over the railroad shed
shines down the lanky clotheslines,
across the brown patchwork flag of the corn fields.
I can’t sleep, America.
I can’t sleep as if anything matters.
Sing me a song yellow moon.
An enamel fan, painted-chipped,
whirs the smell of diesel mixed with the sea,
an America poem that is already last night,
blowing in and out of my face.

~ Bonnie Jill Emanuel