A fine mist of rain falls silent
on his thin, sharp-angled face.
He picks up the pace and tilts
his head to the wind. He walks
through the plundered slumber
of crumbled poverty, abandoned,
in human acclimation to feral
creatures who crawl and scuff
their blood-rough nails on the
concrete remains of multi-ethnic,
He walks on and hears the
oddly familiar sounds coming
from his once attended Public
School#59. Echoes still drift
along the faded asphalt haze
of time. These echoes ring with
elemental bones of hope:
children breaking out and through
the gunmetal gray, graffiti scarred
doors to be swallowed by the
saturated heat of inner-city rage.
Past gothic, orthodox, cathedral
mausoleums which sit darkly, like
ancient stoics, and stare through
amber and crystalline-blue
stained-glass eyes, focused
outward with a small kernel of
eternal mustard seed hope:
One day, souls will once again return
to warm the sacerdotal pews with holy
order flesh and faith.
Past the Puerto Rican market
where a dead pig's head leads
the carnivore parade of mastication
promise every day. A meat market
window of letted-blood and death
reminiscent of Amsterdam whores
who sit naked in street-level windows
exposing their pale, dissipated
bodies to the stares of dead-eyed,
vacant, male hunger outside.
He comes to the grime and grit
of an empty lot covered by old
and broken concrete slabs. He
stops and lets his mind wander
back in time. He sees a woman,
wearing a ratted, fox-tail wrap
around her neck.
She holds a long, un-filtered
cigarette, loose, between her
her bright, fuchsia painted lips.
She wears a black velvet hat
with a veil to her nose. A straight
black dress that flows below
her knees and stops mid-calf
above her high-heel, shiny-black,
patent leather shoes.
He can almost see, through the
blur of a chiaroscuro choreography,
his mother conversing with the
Kazakhstan neighbors of his youth,
in the haze of this dreamlike memory.
She would hold her cigarette
between fuchsia lips and wear
that ratted fox-tail wrap until
one day, finally, the cancer cough
began to spew Chesterfield blood
on the molted fox-tail head of her
Then she went to bed.
Went to sleep.
Quietly, pigeons gathered and cooed
on that slate-gray, New York City dawn.
Copyright © tom mcmurray | Year Posted 2017