Five-Hundred Circles


a once promising sight for

freedom, industry, and corn.

The fastest city in the western hemisphere-

where men from all walks could aspire

to drive in five hundred circles,

chasing the emphatic roar of beer-blooded all-Americans.

Another blur of high-rise industry overshadowing their investments

Angry, cold, and poor.

Window bars and reaching ivy tentacles choke derelict buildings,

raised on a steady diet of frozen waste and cheap wine

filtered through the stained jeans of weathered denizens.

Where is its youth?

Oppressed and glitzed by this tempest of cold steel and creviced asphalt

spider webbing the streets-

while the elderly shake withered fists

full of rum-washed memory

toward the Speedway in

America’s heartland-

now another notch in her rustbelt.

–––– Jonathan Renfield

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