Summer in the City


Snapshot of the city in summer -
when new lies are being written
and the old falsehoods are displayed
in blinking neon.

Taxi grills snarl in boomerang sunshine
while the fetid breath of the subway exhales.
Sun baked sidewalks give up the ghosts
of piss and dogshit,
winos stripped to the barest strata of sartorial sense
they can manage while still scrounging a buck,
and dun-colored roaches conducting the business of filth
while pot-bellied rats cloak and dagger
through the shadows.

Even the pigeons look like
they have been dipped in kerosene
and blow-dried.

And the people -
frayed wants and stirred tempers,
day-glo hookers smack-wretching into trash cans,
manicured villains searching for prey,
the payrolled in summer-weight wool
barking into earpieces, careful not to spill the latte;
clocks that don't need winding,
the punks, the pukes, the Christian porn starlets,
drivers and dealers and dangerous dudes,
each one looking to step one up
on the next one.

Is this the result of evolution,
the white and the brown and the black or the yellow,
each searching for restoration
on the corpse of the one beside him?

Is this the best that we can manage?

What would we have left if we stripped away
the greed,
the self-absorption,
the politics,
and the derision of those we have wronged?

Would we would have pastures,
floral scents and
bucolic overtures,
would we would have it all?

@ Christopher Reilley 08/29/10

I would love to know what you thought about this piece. Please consider leaving a comment.

Popular Posts