climbing kenwood, famished & in search of grease,
i watch to feel the shift sheldon claimed the eclipse would cause,
but am sidetracked by passing strangers.
at anytime may be deemed threat,
release for some soul’s brimming rage.
a rage for which i cast no blame, but
a rage i wish not be victim
as they themselves have become.
often i return home to blocks wrapped in yellow tape.
too often not to heed the warning of caution.
yet, there is something precious buried in this depravity i am surrounded by.
old women with older men, huddled in codman square
riding the rails of motor city’s love tracks as
they spill through the windows of
some crystallized buick with a cassette deck.
drowning sorrow & worry in glass bottles
accented by paper bags & red cups.
neighborhood sage rooted on a bus stop bench
burning packs of dutchmaster cigars,
watching the world, daily, rise & fall.
uprooted only by the cruelest weather.
patrons paired in the aisles of american food basket
meditating merengue & bachata,
taking spotted breaks to pull down groceries from the shelves.
patrons more flavorful than two aisles of spices you discover.
pizza shop owner sparing slices for the starved & alone,
arriving desperately at his door
in search of generosity they can chew & swallow.
feeble grey-haired child of someone’s god, scripture firm in hand,
large sign hung over shoulders, heralding,
“salvation awaits those who seek!”
sharply beautiful makeshift memorials
built of candles, teddy bears, photographs, cards, flowers, beads, crosses
& stomached pain.
overcrowded barbershops flying flags
de la dominicana, puerto rico, cape verde, jamaica;
never the states.
walls covered in monumental men born of the diaspora & sports shrines.
blaring hip-hop, soca, reggaeton, motown & maury povich.
baffling wheely showdowns with gravity at high noon;
tattered teens teasing twelve o’clock with their front tires
for blocks that proceed indefinitely into bricked horizon.
survivors of generations past loitering the local bodega,
wandering in & out of the store searching for treasure
in stacks of keno slips & endless piles of scratch-n-sniff lottery tickets.
perverted, but enduring hope.