Caleb Puckett

Western Sunset

The chorus consumes its verses as they reverberate from engine to plateau. And on that train track slicing the horizon in half, certain proofs, like smoke signals, rise only to burn themselves out among the rain clouds that pass as facts, that act as knowledge, that scatter with the windfall as the Western sunset comes calling. And this correspondence scrawled over long-distance currents fuels our gods in myth as they jostle in marble ballrooms to bead their dreams, to defend their ammunition, to avoid any unseemly impulses once they return to succor at civilization. And our parched mouths on loan quarter the hemisphere of hope with campfire songs as truth smolders under ashes, as it refashions the sun as bright as a watch fob underneath an evening jacket lined with embroidered silk and the scent of tobacco and toil. And we sit among these monuments, sure of a moment’s reinvention, reddened eyes scanning white stars, black powder breeding blackened stones arranged like sentinels in a waste of iron ore where progress runs its smoking car past a herd of buffalo carcasses steaming with question marks. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day: the crescent moon consumes our punctuation and chokes on the lead of our meaning.