New Jersey

at Ben Franklin bridge’s height

one can see halfway across New Jersey

a land so flat and so green

it almost looks like paradise

and although salvation

lies far beyond this state

it’s good to feel that way

every now and then

to feel at the height

of a bridge to see the scattered

skeletons of Camden skyscrapers

to know beyond are farms and pines

suburban colonies

graphed developments

at first with natural names

Collingswood, Haddonfield, Cherry Hill

then unnatural names, townships

called by the names of colonizers

villages bearing names of lost tribes

exterminated people still roam

the barren pines, while cars collide

on highways stretched over unmarked graves

until finally the Atlantic Ocean arrives

a massive highway itself, littered with bones

of humans in chains, of slaves, of migrants

an inferno of water crushing bodies

centuries in transit

on the way to hell in life

en route to paradise in death

wherever that may be