Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Second-Hand . . . , to a Sidewalk

Second-Hand Trickster

Coyote the icon, the master. Coyote the student. Coyote the retired horse thief, dropping breadcrumbs and scabs to guide his way home. Coyote the second-hand trickster, finding a lump of coal under his pillow.

Coyote the widower, caressing a dead woman’s hair, remembering the scent of her breasts, the tang of her thighs. Coyote crying into open palms after midnight. Coyote waking in the morning, taking a shower, going to work in an office selling insurance. Coyote the master. Coyote the slave.


Ode to a Sidewalk

Steam rises in wisps
after the afternoon sun shower.
The Ginkgo stains you
with its stench.

Dogs sniff and piss on you.
Your cracks kill mothers
by breaking backs, if
children stumble.

Colored-chalk tattoos,
hopscotch boxes.

You take us all
where we are going,
even when we wander
for hours. Well-groomed
or shaggy around the edges,
it does not matter.

We know that we need you,
so traffic does not tread
on our souls.


"Second-Hand Trickster" and "Ode to a Sidewalk" are included in Issue 61 of Pudding Magazine.

This is my third contribution to "The Journal of Applied Poetry." My poems "Frost on the Ocean," "Old No. 2," and "This Poem" were published in the Summer 2012 issue, and "And God . . ." and "Peter Pan Must Die" were included in the Summer 2011 issue.  

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