monosyllabic love song


we could have gone anywhere—

down the street to the package store
where dreams are wrapped in amber and soft clear light,

to the end
of the story where that girl in braids
you crushed on in the fifth grade
works at a library

rides the subway home to a two room walk up
and cries herself to sleep.

the sun is moving away and the street begins to cool
down, soon the moon will own
the avenue and blind eyes will trade up
and down peddling their wares to buyers
who don’t know what they need

on the corner, a woman in flats
and a black sweater changes her mind
about the weather

she cups her hand against the flame,
smiles at the man next to her—
the wind tastes of sulfur

and I am a myth, a hostage falling
into the gap between desperation and opportunity.


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