I have walked these streets
these cavernous coffins, sparkling but barren,
her belly bearing the swift and moaning metal tide.
She belches out her disapproval
and hungrily takes her place, an upward striving,
a downward gravity, host to vagabonds.
This headmistress of a language tasting
like rubber, and smoke and old pizza boxes
tossed together in a back alley salad of sad.
Here the fingers don’t touch across
the chapel ceiling, draped in mystery.
Here the collective taunt the painters with maintenance.
The broken, steely sky is punctured through
with a thousand fluorescent lights;
and night is confused with day.
Downtown hustlers shepherd their shivering flock
of skin and leather, studs and paint
so their shoes can match the shiny lights.
Down the sides, around the backs
over the heaps, through broken gates
go the wayward shadows…in the city.
4 thoughts on “In the city”
‘…language tasting like rubber…’ Nice! I do believe your craft is evolving with you, Rob.
I hope so, Melody. It’s gratifying to feel that one’s art can transform along with one’s ever evolving spirit. Shalom, sister.
A very, very good expression of why January 10th, 1990 is sacred to my memory: I walked out of my office in the Big Apple for the last time, and took my last commuting ride home, and within 48 hours we were off across the Delaware River, moving to rural America. It was the saving of me!
We’ve lived in smaller cities near rural areas now for a number of years. Every time I drive to Seattle or Portland I am reminded just how blessed we are!