Stumbling onto Texas City

stumbling onto Texas City
I can see from here
how the whole world
might be mistaken
for oil country.

Here the connector sets of pipelines
roil and tangle in a hot mess
around the thicket of tank farms
and a city worshiping
it’s lifeline of trucks,
ships and railroads.
I slip thru unnoticed
in this refinery town
but not un noticing
as a flash catches my eye
and there, atop a domed tank
derrick high is a wildcatter
or a wildcatter’s son
wing walking the outside
no doubt more than warm
in the bounce of sun off its
chrome crown, brandishing
a fire hose, to cool, or clean,
or meet some purpose other than
spraying crystals into the blue air
for my camera to enjoy
and yep, there it is, the wild
swivel and attack to chase off
some large lazy raptor, the last
fight for territory six stories up
and way out here in the
last teaspoon of nowhere.

Mark Kessinger was born in Huntington, West Virginia, attended college at Cleveland State University, lived in Oklahoma City and now resides in Houston, Texas. He is a two year recipient of a creative writing scholarship from CSU, a founding member and president of the Houston Council of Writers, and former editor of The Big Thicket. His poetry has appeared in many publications and four anthologies.

Photography by William Crawford.