black lines of script
bleed into cheap yellow notebooks
line by line like freezing stars
falling harsh in an uninhabited
wilderness. Cigarette smoke crawls
from the barstools, past the worn
felt pool table, out the half-open
fire exit to the gray concrete
sidewalk up six floors to the
propped window pane where I watch
the workaday world go from bottle
to hostile in a few short seconds.
August in another brick hot borough.
The radio is on low. The tea glass leaves
circles of condensation on the coffee table.
A hoarse yell bolts upward. The heat
sends the air conditioner into a strained
frenzy. Panhandlers hold empty soup cans
out toward the uninterested foot traffic.
An average evening. On a forgettable day.
Then I turn to a haphazard stack
of cheap yellow notebooks to puncture them
with similar observations. Removed from
the brash bar crowd. Neon storefronts steal
sleep. I can't swallow or see the ocean.
It's dark. The lightbulbs hang dormant.
black lines of script bleed...