and then, in medias res, I am
walking meditation on city pavement
and a proliferation of uncertain Springs.
A car heading due north pulls over to the curb and I hear
a woman’s voice say excuse me sir I need to be
going south through the open window
on the passenger side and, leaning
so I can see the speaker, I say
you need to turn around.
She says I need to get to 55th and Western
55th and Western, right? and I can see
the question is for the guy sitting
in the back seat while what has
the form of a statement is
an urgent request
for direction directed to me.
I tell her again you need to turn around
and point to 55th Street, two blocks south.
Turn right there and point again to make sure
she sees which way – and drive west. You have
quite a way to go, but it will take you to Western.
Good luck. The guy in the back seat says thanks and
she drives off and I walk away thinking
I should have told her the road would wind
through a park and cross an expressway and she
would probably think she was lost but
she shouldn’t give up hope.
But having left that unsaid,
I hope they make it. And I am again
walking meditation on city pavement.
Spring is everywhere, it seems,
since some journalist writing about Tunisia
thought to make a cipher of Prague and 1968. Here,
it comes with a stutter step and can scarcely
keep its feet when it steps over cracks
and fissures left by a long winter.
You’d think we’d take a good hard look
at what this pavement was meant to cover
before we called in a crew to smooth it over,
consider the dandelions, how they neither toil
nor reap nor for a moment think money
is speech but hold each other in the light
that slips through every crevice that follows
a change in the weather. They hold each other
in the light, and light themselves, a body of light,
they dig deep in dirt. Like water, they
turn and do what they must do to make a place
where they are standing now, a barricade
of flowers. And then
they die, sure-footed. And then
they come again, like light when
pavement breaks and yet another
Spring comes stumbling over them.