fire escape poem

Bushman on the savanna
shaking a rock at the sky
Words like desperate fingers, dying
fumble towards him
In the midst of such horror:
“God help me, it tickles!”
Unformed, embryo,
a naive intake of breath
preceding history

There is a cat face peering
through ferns in that window
distant window seen from
someone else’s fire escape
tiny ears listening
for food-like noises
Quiet patient biology
Cat.

We are waiting on fire escapes
breathing air that
is fresher at least
than the closed conditioning
of weekend offices.
It is Manhattan
and we are quietly afraid,
because our complacency
has failed to produce
even monsters.

Or, endless roaring stations
homo transiens
waiting to move again,
waiting to stop moving
Lost in private digestion
of culture’s thin milk
bitter
with the taint
of newspaper ink.
Black spots dot the platforms
gum once chewed

“Ladies and Gentlemen,
I apologize for the interruption.
I am in complete agony.
There is little you can do to help.
Thank you for your time.”

He is a black man
in a stained business suit
singing off key
and pierced by muttered commentary
Spinning in his private world
like a dizzy spider.
I can feel the date on
every coin in my pocket
as I leave the train.

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Pin on Pinterest0Email this to someone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*