From the collection published in 2020, Use All Your Eyes to See.
Late on Sunday Afternoon
The city leans in on you
the streets curling like horizontal vines
poised to twist around your ankles
and yank. You trip on a broken curb.
Peeling vacant the empty store facades
leer and lurch along the street
the one occupied location
just hanging up the Closed sign
For today or forever you don’t know
and it doesn’t matter. Instead
the alley hooks out a finger to you
the palm of its hand holding
a flock of café chairs and tables
pink red orange lemon tangerine
skinny legs set on a cracked asphalt
skin lined with memory fate
wealth love and all of it meaning nothing
Every chair is empty every table bare
You skirt the silent crowd you don’t look back.
Inside the faded hotel a maze of
staircase half-flights twist through landings
the built-to-last and wondering why
solid masonry walls looming over
the lobby a grandiose and silent space
whose carpet is worn past any refreshing
and the restaurant is closed for dinner
You step aside to avoid
the unctuous-by-rote good evening
the concierge sends skimming
over three white scraps of paper
fallen at his feet and ignored
Not his job. He has already
overcharged you for postcard stamps
and your room is noisy and hot.
leans in on you.