Truth in Transport

Someone’s placed a photo
of a boat on the side
of a train. There are buses
with bicycle racks
on their grilles, people walking off 

planes onto moving
sidewalks. And there’s the pigeon foot
I discover on a curb
a mile from home. It smells 

like nothing, but there’s
rot in the air, could be
a dead squirrel, could be dead
leaves. If you can smell my decay,
will you let me 

know?  I can never
tell how I get translated—never realized
you could tell 

there was alcohol on my breath
when I kissed you good-night.


Under the Influence of Alcohol and Architecture (Day 2,398: Take 2)*

She believes she can stand tall against shadow,
affect the light
into afternoon, identify the stone
figure staring at her as she turns a corner 

to enter
another establishment
old as sin. It could be
hers—wrapped into the dirty 

canopy fabric above the narrow door. 


* The title comes from the Preface to Luc Sante’s Low Life.