Urban portrait

Who the street
past blinking soul flash make-up
with laugh incredible hair cascade hey I’m twisting

High joint over bench spark sweat shirts wave
tile clacking towers channel moped lunchers run thunk plank across curb coffee unlidded
plenty of viewers for a spectacle student flirters eyes gelling
one alone a mendicant of bent intentions mumble

Chasing time
always in time

Crackle traffic pursuing turnstile across plaza
where people sparrow companions all peck at new food old food
creole spanish russian english

Shadow cut sidewalk lit lamps nicotine ashes throbbing
hooks grate pressed down by passers multitude
new fairgoers hit the blocks footwear changes
speech even more impelled eyes sidecast

Chasing time

Crowd threads toward music hall magnet
loud accostation ephemeral altercation
abandoned corners listening isolated assignations

Final throngers stood up by partner cough fleeing
placards left lying breeze brushing
wisp of melody
walking stick tapping

Always in time

[Photograph of The City Square sculpture by Giacometti]

The City Square, by Alberto Giacometti, 1948/1949, from the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC


This poem was published in the Spring 2020 issue of the Pennsylvania Literary Journal, page 408.

Andy Oram

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