‘I Know Words, I Have the Best Words’

Today I drove my shiny new car
down the weary worn out highway,
to the shithole of a city
that I call my heart.
I navigated the labyrinth of numbered trash
cans and dingy snow drifts and double parked cars.
I stopped to let a junkie cross the street.
She was shaky on her feet, strung out,
skinny, mumbling to herself.
She was white,
but maybe you already knew that?
Because I said junkie, and not crackhead.
Because I didn’t say that she was black…
Words are so important

Today I met a boy whose name was Emotion.
This is not a metaphor.
He was three and a half feet tall,
wearing a polo shirt and khaki pants and sneakers.
He had light brown skin
and dark brown eyes.
His nose and cheeks were flecked with freckles, and he was missing a tooth.
There was a long white
scar along the line of his jaw.
He looked up at me and said hello.
He wasn’t smiling.
But he didn’t seem sad, sitting there, at his tiny desk,
in the shithole
of a city
that I call my heart.
When I told him to stand tall
like a mountain, he was unmoved…
Words are so important.

Today was unseasonably mild, a January surprise,
A change of climate. A thaw.
On the ride home it was raining up.
The holey highway runs
along the broad majestic Passaic,
which has been frozen for weeks.
I could see the raincloud rising up off of the river,
Creeping over the guardrails
and spilling onto the road.
A white waft of water washing over my windshield.
These new wiper blades are sharp and smooth
and the daytime running lights slice through the scud.
The road ahead of me is clear,
as I move further and further from the fog
that hangs over
the shithole
of a city
that I call my heart.
My shitty city. My heart.
I can’t be heading home then, can I…?
Words are so important.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s