Window Frost

I lived in Fargo during the hard times

you could be killed

for buttering the wrong side of the slice

the children walked to church on Sunday

with baseball bats held high

ready to break the bottle

release the lightning

fly into the volcano which festered

on every street corner of their young pain


Joy in Fargo was like paint peeling

bricks crumbling

torn leather seats at the VFW dining hall

where we played our music


Narrowing light only broadens the darkness

Rusty and weathered, muffler men

towering silently above schools and shops

heads bowed

they slouch like disconnected telephone poles.

Grieving voyeurs

Invisible, undetected for decades.


Piles of sadness like dirty laundry

with the washer broken and family pets

bleeding on the cracked linoleum

in Fargo during the white cold winter

when windows creak and moan

and ghosts cry out from inside the furnace


Nights in Fargo with people trapped in houses

like boiled meat in a frozen hubcap

The night air tasted of blood & tinfoil

cold soup made from the brain

of H.P. Lovecraft, just one state over

cauterizing your splintered lips as you ate


Weekends in Fargo? Festive

with doom and death

A public flogging at the Ice Capades

Grandma’s oatmeal cookies

stuck to the roof of a corpse’s mouth

Dress nice and don’t draw attention

for Monday looms


People in Fargo don’t drive

they don’t walk

they don’t take the bus.

Womenfolk in Fargo

don’t talk

erect pole barns in memory

of lost loved ones

and the living ones who drool

beside them at every meal.


I could not leave Fargo (even though

I eventually did), I rode out of town

on the back of a blue rhinoceros

catching lilies as they crashed from the sky

piercing the hides of all

but the most devout of the battered warriors


Someday I will return to Fargo

I will burn the pavement and the gas pumps

I will crush the cottages

where the old people hide

I will pry open the doors of the church

fall down on my knees

beg forgiveness from the city of Fargo

for letting it go on so long


Give me a minute

I must call in these coordinates

to the squadrons


Okay – sit back


One day Fargo may rise again

but not here, nowhere

anything like right here.


By Steve Sibra


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