Shockoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My world
is the sinuous
curve of freeway
that flies under
glowering heavens
while herons wade
in cold waters;
the sound and
the peril
of stiletto on
stone
and the scented rhythm
of catcalls from yellow doorways.
Graffitied desperation
and the thunder of trains that run
beside old brick
under new construction
in a city that when
pressed clings
to its past as to a mother’s loving hand
but with the next
breath
dismisses her like
dog piss
on the master’s second-
best rug….

[My words
smell
of rust
and river-
rot
imbibed
not through the pores
of cortex
where
moments
become
memories but
through the primordial
pocketwatch
in the back of my
skull
telling me
when

to

breathe.]

In this land
of frozen locks
and thawed oblivions
where treachery and tolerance
sidle arm-in-arm
down cobblestoned alleys,

My voice
whistles a freedom song
to the same soundtrack
you fucked your girlfriend to last night;
rising broken-winged through the
dead smokestacks
as you haunt the canals
searching for loose virtue
or lost inspiration,
it will find you
undone.

Needle-pushers and nutmeg-peddlers,
you have been warned.