Alone (Schooltown Downtown)


ALONE (SCHOOLTOWN, DOWNTOWN)
Lying in bed with the sound of rain on a tin rooftop,
space heater churning blue flame and little heat,
the sour smell of night sweats on a paisley bathrobe,
Chopin nocturnes escorting Night into her bedchamber.
Dawn sleepily moves across the landscape, and with this
the day breaks upon the city, day breaks upon the already
melting snows. Blue sky and cardinals, green pines shrugging
the cracked ice off, and bend, bend, bend, creaking,
seems it’s me not the trees creaking, leaning towards
the kitchen and all the ways of waking that are waiting there.
Funny, the way the voice shakes in a hushed stage whisper
as it moves in pitch towards the bellow and shout,
towards the un-muffled, the hallelujah yeah that says
this is the moment: a place I’d like to stay.
Step outside on the warped pine front porch, well, well,
the eyes start to focus through espresso steam
and Camel smoke,
and it seems out here all the roads connect
on a downtown trek that’s ever and always leading somewhere,
and I look and look and look at the streak of wires
suspended and swaying beneath the weight of winter winds,
they too are going and they’re not coming here…
And for this minute the dawn tastes good, it tastes like life.
Yellow sun rests on the wet roofs and lawns, gleaming, awake.
A car door slams, a car shifts gears and slides to a stop,
a car rushes round the curve and hill, sounds a whole lot
like late for work and I’m glad I’m not, then a truck rumbles,
a train howls and grinds, screams through birdsong
and soft morning thought, and reawakens the knowing
that commerce has no home or heart, it just roars,
tears down wall and reconstructs, full throttle, full throated.
These are the sounds when the city wakes up, with sounds
like this, with iron gates crashing. Sleeping,
the beast is beautiful with it’s neon crown,
it’s candent towers, fuzzy halo and steady hum. And then,
the city wakes up with all the subtlety,
vulgarity and calm of Moloch rising after the feast.

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