Where the question are you alright usually finds one very much
not alright. Cellphone at the bus stop, cellophane, wind,
Hasty Mart in its collar of pigeon spikes. With smokes
in front of the sports bar, careerists mid-shift lit at dusk
by the inner light of cheap bottles
of domestic. Like payphones, cords have been cut
that tied them to the world. Let me off here, the primary
neighbourhood, I’ll walk the traffic’s bank,
its decorative plantings and contradictory signage, the current,
I can’t brave it. Fortunes approach right-angled in their vehicles
of delivery, hearts beat quickly in anticipation
or dread inspired by the landmarks. How long have I traveled here
in these years of gentrification and not realized
they’re gone—the inconvenient, inadequate, or taken
for granted? The psychic welcomes no more walk-ins
in this life. Time is short. Though a timeless sublegal
entrepreneurial spirit flourishes over which laundromats preside
geologically, with deep sighs, belying
with the state of their drains their adjectives. No one
can be alone like they can. Pedestrians, obey your signals.
On the boulevard of a two-stage crossing he reads in her
an imminent change in direction. We were here
once, hand in hand at the intersection of the cardinal and ordinal,
blessed with purpose, and the Star of Poland still in business.