Monday, April 4, 2011

poem of the day 04.04.11


we stand at the bus stop
under gray skies
as the wind picks up
and kicks shit across 86th street

sal is cold he tells me

he’s dressed in an air jordan t-shirt
and denim shorts

is maybe five foot five

shaped like a bulldog

sal is cold
shuffling back and forth
in our glass bus stop cage

his dog tags swinging left to right

sal says he had to come down
here for office supplies for his girlfriend

but i’m trying not to listen to him

i have coltrane on and i’m beat

my feet are tired

my head is hurting

at the job another teenager
told me to go and fuck myself

and i still have another twenty-six years
before retirement

but at least i’m not cold

not like sal is cold
pacing like a gorilla

his hands in his denim pockets
goose bumps up his freckled arms and legs
shit, sal tells me
i gotta go back home and change

got two interviews

car service

night driver

i nod
put the coltrane on pause
then shut him off

because sometimes humans
just can’t escape one another
in this tight world

you can’t be too picky these days, sal says

i can do night driving
i’m so local i’m like the concrete

but this cold, man
sal stops pacing and shuffles closer to me

spits when he talks

i stay out in this cold dressed like this
and i’ll get sick

i got a son, sal says
if i get sick my girl won’t let me
anywhere near him

sal grabs his arms and rubs

i’m cold just watching him go at his flesh

i’m thinking about that teenager
the tediousness of life
and the futility of human endurance

when sal says, this fucking weather

spring my ass

but i could do it, you know

car service

night driving

friday and saturday night, sal says

it would cut into my time
with my kid
but you gotta do what you gotta do these days

yes, i say

wishing that i had enough warmth in me
for the both us

because sal has started to grow on me

but luckily his bus shows up

take care, buddy, sal says to me

you too sal, i say
because we’re like old friends now

then sal gets on the bus

i watch it pull away
put the coltrane back on

as another gust of wind kicks up
tossing fast food wrappers into the air

i’m glad that sal missed that one
because that gust was a doozy

and they say it’s supposed to rain
any minute now.

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