Summer birds

lived in trees near

the engine foundry

in Brook Park.

You could hear them

in the evening,

but only God knows how

it was possible

in the parking lot.

Cars were covered with dust

like burlap,

so much so

guys would write

fuck you notes

to each other

after each shift

on the windshields

as they left.

The birds

did the same thing

with their wings

in the steam

and ash,


above the plant—

anything to make us stop,

but it didn’t work.




John Stupp is the author of the 2007 chapbook The Blue Pacific and the 2015 full-length collection Advice from the Bed of a Friend both by Main Street Rag. His new book Pawleys Island will be published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.