I now remembered slowly how I came, I, sometime living, sometime with a name, Creeping by iron ways across the bare Wastes of Wyoming, turning in despair, Changing and turning, till the fall of night, Then throbbing motionless with iron might. Four days and nights! Small stations by the way, Sunk far past midnight! Nothing one can say Names the compassion they stir in the heart. Obscure men shift and cry, and we depart. And I remembered with the early sun That foul-mouthed barber back in Pendleton, The sprawling streets, the icy station bench, The Round-up pennants, the latrinal stench. These towns are cold by day, the flesh of vice Raw and decisive, and the will precise; At night the turbulence of drink and mud, Blue glare of gas, the dances dripping blood, Fists thudding murder in the shadowy air, Exhausted whores, sunk to a changeless stare. Alive in empty fact alone, extreme, They make each fact a mortuary dream.

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