A little tug boat tug-tugs on the waves of a marsh,
a body of brackish water
where the city leaves its waste.
The King of Chu (and a kangaroo)
keep watch there,
beside the skeleton of a moribund traincar.
Here is a place that man cannot touch.
The waves will wipe his footprints clean,
and rub his jagged bottle edges smooth.
Just beyond the El, this windswept graveland sits.
A crystal ball,
which frames sunset in a paper bird’s beak.
Michael Pelczar wrote this poem as an “Introduction to Creative Writing” class assignment, in which I had students watch a short Chris Marker film, Junkopia. and write abstractly about what they saw or were motivated to write. -- Dr. Stephen Paul Miller