We’ve Come For Your Summer

We’ve come for your rooms
Your food and your wine

We’ve overtaken your ferries
And clogged up your roads

We’ll eat all your clams
And drink all your beer

We’ll complain and we’ll shout
And our children will scream

All over your beaches
And into the night

We’ll follow you everywhere
Make you wait for your coffee

Your paper, your mail
For hours and hours

Line after line
For days and for weeks

Until the last weekend
The summer’s last stand

Before we disappear into the night
Leaving nothing behind

As if no one was here
For years or ever

My Old Desk

I miss my old desk
The one in the back of the room
Behind all the others
Far away from the loud voice shouting
The long finger stabbing
The bodies piling up around me

There were markings in the wood
Lightning bolts, skulls and Zoso
Records. History. Cave paintings.
Messages from those seeking protection before me
Just to say they were here and when

I rolled pencils across the wood
Tapped on the top with dirty fingernails
And on hot days without air conditioning
My hair slick against my neck and ears
Wrists wet from wiping sweat
I let the cold wood cool the bottoms of my forearms
I could hear the sound of my skin peeling away
As I reached under and pressed the tops of my forearms
Against the cooler metal belly of the desk

The top tilted downward toward me
And lifted up to swallow books and lunches
A flat edge at the peak to hold pencils
An abandoned inkwell from long before my time

I miss that desk where I hid for months
Never being called. Never being asked.
Feeling the power of invisibility
Feeling protected
Feeling the freedom of thin air

Of all the desks I have sat in since
The hundreds of them
Including the one I sit in now
That desk was my favorite

Open Windows

The skies dim
Clouds roll in
Heavy rains fall upon the city

Sheet after sheet
Cooling off the summer streets
Killing off the humidity

I shut off the a/c
Open the windows just to feel
Real air fill the room

It’s warmer but cool enough
Smoothing out what once was rough
And for a moment, thoughts of flowers bloom

A Pigeon in Flight

To watch a pigeon fly
From a window
On the sixteenth floor
Gliding in circles
In and out of view
Diving to the left
A bullet in the sky
A star, a comet
An angel in gray
A superhero
Rising above the black tar roofs
Rising above the water tanks
Rising above the penthouses
Rising high above its reputation

Spaceship

My corner of this planet
Is the corner of this bed

Warm comfort under
Crisp white sheets

I ride the planet round
Its rotation and orbit

Seeing day and night and day
Race across the ceiling and the walls

In moonlit trapezoids and sunlit squares
The twenty-four hour seasons of the day

I observe from the observation deck
On my nest of fluffy pillows

The Do Nothings

The pigeons
They work for the squirrels

The squirrels
They work for the cats

The cats
They work for the dogs

The dogs
They work for the humans

The humans
They do nothing at all

Eyes Wide Open

Feel good that, these things, you do not need
Those fancy, pricey glasses that will only make you blind
And those patent leather shoes that punish those who buy them

Feel good that, these things, you do not want
Those clothes that are made to cover desperate souls
Who live in desperate fear of passing eyes
Who believe that harm may come from those
Who may or may not think ill of them

And the richer the cloth, the darker the glasses, the taller the shoes
The thicker the shell that protects such a weak and frightened person

Feel proud that, what you are, is strong
And when you go about your business
It is with truest heart
Boundless freedom, and
Eyes wide open

 

A Glint of City

Early in the morning
Along Lexington and Madison
The weary march along the war torn paths
Through the hazy mix of fog and mist
Their battle faces beaten into death masks
Off to work they go

But then on some days
The clouds crack open
The sun shines through
A valley of glass and
Steel catches fire
In the light

The eyes widen and
For moment there is life