Lindsay Tigue

Abandoned Places

So maybe I am a town
for ghosts. And I know that
places can fall in love

with those who stay awhile,
those who sweep the cracking
stairs, repair the panes

on all the windows. In the Sierras, 
on the border between Nevada 
and California sits Bodie—its decaying

wood and still-stocked stores.
In my mind, these towns,
are never empty—their rail

lines coming and going
through mountains and plains.
When he left me, I guess

I didn’t think about nowhere.
The dim promise of gold.
The park ranger in Bodie

gets cursed souvenirs returned
to him by mail. Contraband—
an old nail. A shard of glass. I’m sorry,

the notes say. For what I’ve taken.
I don’t believe I fall for just
anyone who shows me kindness.

Lindsay Tigue has work published in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Indiana Review, Passages North, CutBank, and Rattle, among others. She was a 2013 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference and won the 2012 Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University and is currently a PhD candidate in English/Creative Writing at the University of Georgia in Athens.