This was a different poem once

By Saronik Bosu

 

This was a different poem once

It was longer, for one.

 

And then it lost its first stanza

on 2nd Ave, somewhere near

that thrift shop with the gold coat

that no one buys.

 

The verbs were a bother

And in this grid city

where land is perpendicular to itself

verbs disappear at corners

every day

 

The clauses, pointing everywhich way.

started dropping off,

some fell on 3rd and 14th

in front of that car with the wooden owl

in the driver’s seat;

some took time to dissolve

in the water that gathers between the spikes

they use to keep the homeless away

 

In about a month’s time,

this poem didn’t look like

what it was.

Couple of scorch marks,

not many,

the burnt places felt like skin

to the touch,

And it smelled different.

 

Then the nouns went,

With pride of name,

they’d held on for long

but they went most quietly,

one night at Smalls

they were playing Cuban,

and behind the soaring trombone,

nobody heard them leave.

 

For a while,

it has stopped changing,

this poem.

 

It’s a scaffolding now,

In this scaffolding city.

 

It’s new,

and not quite sure

about what to do

with this April rain

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