Susie DeFord

With photography by Dennis Riley

Diesel Ghosts

Horizon cranes tower over quiet water, industrial
giraffes in a bucolic oasis. Red Hook’s halcyon
from the cacophonous city’s screech, an asylum.
Seagulls sing a sea shanty echo above the diesel
ghosts of sailors smoking on rusted wench axle.
Barking dogs chase thrown sticks into water agile
on the jagged beaches, ducks swim their kingdom
tails twitching on by old trolley lines, the chasm
of time. Beard’s Brick Warehouse lines the channel
guarding the shore from more condos. The Merchant
Stores full of plants’ green and key lime pie’s sweet-
sour tongue sting, milk paint above reads the same
as 1920—Lemon-lime, Root Beer, and Cream. Distant
Lady Liberty stern stares back at us as tugboats fleets
float past, she holds her torch ready to set us aflame.

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