Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I find it tough to cross the street

I find it tough to cross the street--
14th, already, smelling of babies' cries
loving children and mothers in
two, almost three languages commanding--
sun at its peak, almost, of
night, haziness like the wave of a lover
across the floor, both old, new

at once a caress or a slap on the back
a scratch on the forehead
as the bus cries and weans
on the street's milk. Darker than
me, laughing hard, and me
smiling as a mug of coffee
dove-tailing and red.

Most days are long fingers
pointing either at me or out.
So tell me, fair: better, then, to
tattoo my eyes of my lids
or sit against the street, red
but looking.

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