7 a.m. By Beth Cortez-Neavel Cities abiotic concrete-filtered sunlight hitting traffic jams through sky scrapersâ€™ grids Barely a sidewalk without footprints left in chewed- up
In the night moonâ€™s glow
the corners of the world are tucked in
and folded down
and the stars vainly whisper
their secrets lost in street-lamp invitations:
As he swept the dead leaves into a pile by the chain-link fence separating his house from mine the fall leaves continued to spiral down around him. He didnâ€™t look up. He didnâ€™t stop. He didnâ€™t even acknowledge that they were ceaselessly dropping from the trees. He just kept sweeping in slow, small strokes.
I Have Still to Wash My Sheets By Beth Cortez-Neavel I jump at the chance to be touched now. I need that physical that hateful
a cadenza that flits
tiptoeing on half steps of air
And you bent your neck down and hunched your shoulders your thin-soled cheap shoes breaking at the ice left in puddles on the dirty caking tar
(Kevlar in the inner pad: two layers woven
and two needle-punched â€“
but I do not really know what that means
because you told me through a fading
connection â€“ but I know, at the least, that they will stop the blade)
They are falling like onion rings and cheeseburgers. They are falling like oatmeal and orange juice. They are falling like roti and vindaloo. Like eggrolls and hot and sour soup. They are falling in love like chocolate-ice-cream-and-banana-split sundaes. They are falling like waterfalls and paint thinner, like apples and appaloosas.
The night is warm and in this city you can see the stars from the broken sidewalks and rutted tar. I stand on my wooden porch, the dirty gray paint flaky underfoot as my feet shift of their own accord; I cannot stand still. Every hair stands on end in its follicle. The slightest movement of a leaf on the ground next to me causes me to startle, intensely amazed at the ability for the breeze to pick it up and move it a half-centimeter after spiraling through the thick, end-of-summer night air as if it were nothing.
Words on the Page By Beth Cortez-Neavel I am starry-eyed little pieces of joy exploding in your atmosphere I am happy tiny lovebugs crawling tickling