POEM: traffic signals

Published on 22 February 2024 at 16:05

would you hold me between traffic signals?

i am heavy and thick in the dotted white lines

i am lubbering over short curbs and bike horns

but i am here, aren’t i? couldn’t that be enough?


we are walking and it feels as if we’ve always been walking,

and i live only between the cracks in the sidewalk slabs—

i am subsumed by blisters in between toes, i am lopsided,

i am elbowing you for support and you are falling away


against a sturdy brick building and laughing like a bruise.

i am a peculiar kind of damp from both sweat and rain but

i  am here and i have always been, and i want you to hold

my heart like a phone receiver and tell me that that’s a perfect thing


for me to be. we bother a man nearby for a pack of strong 

smokes and i light it with a leftover match i was going to use

on myself, but it’s all right. stevie nicks is sloughing off of the speakers

in a club nearby, and i can only watch you in periphery


because you never can quite look at me dead-on.

i am here. you pass the cigarette to me and it burns the insides

of my fingers. a traffic light begins to die and turns yellow.

i stare at the street and imagine myself as rubber, pulling hard against it.

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