PHILADELPHIA, NAKED.

It is a wonder that my eyes
may see the city from such
varied perches, day to day:

By bus: elevated so that
I may gaze indulgently
into wet, dirt-caked
cavities of construction sites
hidden when I am

By bike: so that the flawed
contours of road, frenzied
traffic patterns spill soft
city breath on my cheeks,
ever still when I am

By foot: so that I may watch,
observe, stop at the apex of the
Walnut Street Bridge and see
(for the first time) clumps of
bright clothing, remnants
of bicycles, water bottles
sticking to the concrete
embankment below.

 

AN EDUCATION

(I wrote this poem about two years ago, when I was unemployed after college. Now I’m about to be voluntarily unemployed. How much life can change in so little time. I am learning now what is essential to my happiness, my wholeness. And it absolutely means simplicity.)

Our fruit baskets are not empty.
My shelf is filled (so is hers).
Our tiny fridge is clumsy with
tissue-thin bags of produce.

After breakfast, I’ll cover my
body in lavender suds.
And comb my thick, soft hair.

Some things can’t be measured.
I’m like a housewife without a
husband, when I only want
to be fitted for an office chair.

Today, I’ll hang the lace curtains,
write four cover letters,
make three square meals,
sweep the hall,
brush the rectangular edge of my
nightstand with mustard paint.

No paycheck, but my diploma is
in the mail. I’m good for it.

SIDEWALK CLOSED

Giant square holes
of missing earth
Caramel mud

And the great striped
barrel of the cement truck

Painted like a carnival
sliding liquid armor
into the ground

stopping traffic
starting anew

COMFORT

Spring onions
[ little but mighty ]
dance around in
a Friday evening pan
& press their tangy scent
through screened windows
in Queen Village.

Volvo-owning dads
mirror-shine their autos
with microfiber
cloths & load hatchbacks
with camping equipment.

I walk through it all,
like an open air museum.
Grilled burgers & Turtle Wax,
basil clippings from the window
box.

Society hill

Society Hill, Philadelphia

 

 

THE CITY IS A BEEHIVE

The city is a spillt
canister of legos
stretching out & out
etched by rivers
large enough to
accommodate
boats
impressive bridges.

Disregard the concrete.
Pay no mind to the
curdling of liquids
after it rains.
Look up to the
massive sky
where stale sounds
and stifled air
find release.

The city is a beehive
that alarms us
when we think:
“Gosh, we made this
with hands, this
hectic, full of
what-ifs
place.”

Its swarms of people
provide us with a
certain nectar,

but you’ll get sick
of the taste
if you never leave.