The Poet Laureate of 54th Street

first is big black nothing
a closed eye
second is small spark
a sliver of diamond
barely a flicker
but then third
I am already
the full formed beast
hungry
walking with iron studs
on the heart
gnawing
hungry, hungry
all spasm, burnt muscle,hot blood

poet laureate of 54th street
guardian of the secret worlds
of these citizens
who amble home at the end of day
dancing the street's pageant

I watch them from my stoop
or I am a mouse in their walls
see those two amble by?
see how they grow older?
how eah day they cast a wider arc of bone
as they pass the young men
who simonize at dusk
the wheelfeet boys?

what is it like
to bang open the door
to the last decade
to stare full into
the mouth of death
see death whip its tail
flash a tooth
open its wolf maw
gnaw?

surely those two never yet
stepped fully from the eggshell
they trail the viscous mess
the calcium shards
their life eye
opened and shut

is it my business?

they amble by the hydrant
missed by the wheeled boys
unseen by the young men rubbing chamois
against the void

the young men hump the summer air
the night won't come

the lazy blue universe
laps at the edges of the block

o night
o merciful night
come, come
burst the tender darkness
so we may wish to be trees
wish to be reborn as stones

so we may know
heaven and earth
can be hotwired
spun by a wheel
sweet, sweet night come

hush
hear the black tongue
lapping sweet blackness
littered with trinkets

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