I first walked past the apple core
during a dreary morning way to work.
The core of a bright fuji apple
on the edge of a dull concrete bridge
scattered with trash.
the core slowly wilting.
A body without a burial
amidst littered humanity.
brittle winter new england weather
that dull concrete bridge,
the apple stayed.
“Who ate the apple?”
“Why did they leave it there?”
I wondered every morning.
We grew a passive intimacy,
like strangers who share a bus route.
Familiar only in looks, fleshy stenches, and wrinkled skin.
A jumble of wandering umbrellas
paint splotches of rain inside the city.
Street gutters roll thick with wet garbage
offering discarded philosophies to fat rats.
I dream of traveling in the spring
sunshine warming my soggy bones.
But the shadow of an alley drips
shaping the portrait of an empty man:
“You’ve wandered too far from consciousness, my dear.
It’s time to wake up.”
(An ode to Boston street musicians)
Perform to sidewalks
caked with forgotten humanity
—crushed styrofoam cups, burger wrappers, cigarette butts—
in pavement cracks;
Kintsugi through music.
Demand the space for your beauty.
For if you stop,
who else will I listen to
on a windy Thursday night
waiting for the T at Chinatown?
Is he cursing at his god?
He slings a slurry of swear words to the heavens,
gradually increasing his passion as he continues to curse.
He’s visibly drunk,
motions slurred and unwieldly,
like a baby learning how to move for the first time.
Greasy grey hair hangs thinly around his rosy cheeks,
but I’m too ashamed to look at him,
too afraid to provoke,
so I don’t catch the color of his exasperated, almost pleading eyes.
And he’s begging for what?
For a god to answer his anger?
For a friend to help fuel his thoughtless fury?
to meet the gaze of his eyes?
I can’t help but empathize with his soul shattering, empty rage.
But I can’t help,
so I file off the train.