Benton Harbor, Michigan

Arrive from the northland
Exit into a warzone
Life sparse amongst the boarded buildings
Desolate
The fuckedupness is a tractor beam
I’m swallowed up deeper into the city throat
Personal safety leaves the radar
The park is empty
Fallen leaves carpet the grass
The brown barked trees stand alert
Units of scarecrows — soldiers for miles
I’m alone
I find a pocket of life down the road
A roundabout of art
An old livery where the beer taps line the counter
Local suds for the people
Live music for the patrons
There are nooks below the poverty line
Places like this, where less money means more time
Create, create, and create

—J.M.

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