The long process of decay

Today’s guest post is by poet Benjamin Kirsch.

When you walk around a town
and all you can see is urban
and moral decay, junk yards full
of people and the once-great advances
of the past. Giant microwaves and tele-
visions that took up entire houses, before
computers were even a thought. Appliances
from the fifties, shaped like a future that
people believed was bright and guaranteed.

Sunshine and dust filters down and falls on
old, deflated tires of the cars that once held
the bodies of our loved ones, but are now sitting
and sighing, four wheeled moans that are not just
forgotten, but deeply forgotten; just like the people
that once rode around in them. Ghosts with electronic
hearts walk around this town, and follow you as you
walk, without dream or purpose, thinking of past
graces and advances and the full-stop of today.

Every dream is the same, there’s this person, alone,
walking through this town, looking for another human
being who’s thrown off veneer and peeled off their
skin to reveal a true heart, with true scars and a true,
ticking mind. Death is all around you, with the used-
up remnants of past lives and past purchases, things
that were supposed to fill a need, fill a hole, but never
did. And now these bits of plastic and metal and rubber
just lie around rotting, sinking into soiled ground, and
flapping in the wind that blows it all into oblivion anyway.

The smell of old books is the best thing that can be hoped
for, when most everything smells of electrical fires and used
motor oil. Fresh things are running out and can’t compete
with the decaying noise that is ever-growing and expanding.
If you never stop walking, you might never turn to dust, but
you’ll never meet another going that way, so to keep from
being alone, you settle down and begin the long process of
decay.