Salt dissolved in water sticks to my shoes
crawls up my pant leg's inseam
leaves behind a shadow or ghost of a spectacle
that enshrouded this somber city.
Fresh spit snow and crusty coat
chunks of ice slips and slides the soles beneath my feet
hinders my walking me dwarfed by these man made sequoias
tall brick and stone buildings and taller sky-
scrapers cutting gashes in the spinning airs of the world:
soft pillow to our concerns pitted far flung in this space
where I am moving so fast I'll never slow down.
the scene on the street corner
men standing splotched polyester jackets
propped on empty and upside down 2 liter Pepsi crates
“Get a ride!” “Get a ride.”
“Get a ride!”
A taxi ride but where's his taxi?
the El runs under these streets so you can have whatever you want
trinkets cheap bling incense body oils,
Bo-sing Chicken, nails or a new haircut:
sometimes lucky the fate of the passerby
I am so I walk on, walking man leads my way.
I slide my gloved hand on the rail and descend
watching my feet lest I lose my step
or stumble here at this stairwell finish line,
too late to miss this one, too late to wait
six or eight or ten or twelve minutes
depending on the time of day.
I cross the platform entrance, gloves slip off then into the left hand
the right now reaching into breast pocket:
Running the pass I push through the turnstile.
Whine and screech train songs congest the air
platform half full of scattered people and I, stepping left stepping right,
try to be first in line
filling gaps in efficiency.
Doors slide open like Star Wars,
I pass portal to the land of blank stares
and vacant aural landscapes:
this but for the tinny sound of an hip hop amplified iPod,
or the reasoned or outlandish cajole of a mother to her daughter
"Sit down." "Sit down!"
or the braggadocio of two seasoned brothers
slapstick black leather charm
something must have been funny but you missed it
you who keep your face buried in books
while the language is written on walls.