I walk and the shadows slip past me
in familiar shapes, too fast to call out.
Swerve towards the food trucks, but hunger
is not my engine this morning. The call
of birds from lofty city windows,
sills filled with appetites unappeased will
no doubt lead to calamity. If luck prevails
only a few broken bodies. The impact of glass
on an otherwise clear sky. The trash
man ignores them when he claims the
stinking rubber bins. Deadlifts them
as blithely as flowers dying in a lover’s
hands. Don’t we all enjoy a little
waste now and then? What we throw
away is the subject of documentaries
and the shapes our nightmares soak
into the sheets while we sleep, but today
a street shows its scarred wisdom to the rain.
Leftover heat rising from the asphalt,
I have already forgotten where I was going,
but this city will lead me somewhere.
A business reading or a poetry meeting
or the dead end of an alley, where
the walls will remind me to call my mother
gone these long years. One more
shadow I have been too numb to carry.
Sometimes the metaphor is not
the only thing a writer buries in his poem.