Lines Composed Just East of Bushwick Avenue

Lines Composed Just East of Bushwick Avenue

Lines Composed Just East of Bushwick Avenue 1920 1440 Jessalyn Johnson

South of the street signs, new buildings
are being propped upright by paper dolls
in hardhats and wool coats. Consider wondering
about the sky, the naked trees, the pigeons with infected
eyes, the wind blowing music through the cracks in the window.
Read about the great city, the stunners that ride their bikes across town
just to step into a store that sells wine and buy two bottles of Grenache,
only as sweet as the company. The token funny kid cracks a joke,
of course everyone laughs, creases digging deep into the cheeks of locals.
Inclusion syndrome, a puff of smoke, dodging cyclists, creating art.
Follow strangers when they give direction like a conductor,
wave to the children, treat them to ice cream cones and
the concept of God’s forgiveness before sending them off to bed.
The town kazooist, still lively as ever plays a short tune,
of course everyone hums along, lips buzzing like half-witted hornets.
Think about learning a new trade or skill, something transferrable,
something with an installment plan or return policy, money back guarantee.
Vacuous smiles and television sounds, bitters and orange peels,
street music and construction signs, one foot in front of the other.

Header photograph © Tara Shepersky.

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