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The mood, the place, the illuminated building
golden and empty, its construction stalled as
all movement in this area is stalled as in another.
So enter lack, a whitening of the sky
in a winter sunset, its hollowed-out stories, structural posts
keeping the building’s long, flat concrete
floors from slapping one onto the other
recall the marigold, a flower that breaks
into a thousand pieces
leaving us to pine for its solid gathering.
The train ascends the bridge, climbing out of
dense, vivid brickwork into span.
There is also blue
mixed in the white, diluted but careful sense
of girders uniting a canyon dispersed
over river water. The momentary winging out
of city and passage, the near return to a complete
non-sky, unsure of how far away, how near.
Netting encloses the site, loosened and caught
in the wind, flapping open to reveal a pale façade.
It’s not that I’m unsure. It’s something else.
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Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.