Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thoughts after the bombing

In college, I used to carpool
with another volunteer
to my tutoring gig downtown
and we would take Neil Avenue
near where I live now
and I remember her
fumbling with her cigarette
and her car's lighter
that bingo stamp of red coal
and when she looked up, she sighed,
I love this street
if I stay in this city
it'll be because of this street

Today the downpour started
in the afternoon
I shifted my weight between feet,
observing from an office window.
I wanted it to let up
to give me a dry trip
but it didn't

My light-colored oxford
glowed pink from my skin
in seconds
as I pedaled home
My dark bra visible
I was like a sleazy truck-stop pen
turned upside down
(I have never been able
to remember to wear the right bra
to press my collar
"pulled together" is how they put it
on those makeover shows
no, I'm quite pulled apart)

My face pinned back to my ears
as the rain lashed
but soon it was because I was grinning,
teeth bared to the world.

(there are worse things
in a life
than gliding through a city,
slowly greening with spring
Soaked to the bone,
shoes belching water
with every pedal stroke.)

As I approached Neil,
near my apartment,
the rain let up.
Of course it did!

I puddled my clothes on the bathroom tile
and lied on the floor,
just myself.

A life
a lifetime
is a gift
(though we may differ on from whom)

And I hate
when it's short.


  1. Lovely. I always make a point to drive visitors down Neil, even if it's way out of the way.