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It smells quite like a diner on Avon,

though I don't recall ever passing

a flapjack stack or waitress amassing

regrets (‘round her racooned eyes)

on my commute from the corner

to a cherry-red door, squarely sanctified

with numbered bits of brass (that just might pass

for gold, at squinted sunset).

I take the sidewalks blind and forget

where my feet are—inhale aromas sweeter

than should ever cross

a narrow East Coast avenue (dotted

with Gothics of varying hues,

kissing vapor and unbroken azure

with lips painted—I'm sure—in every

shade on sale).

And betwixt the pines and power lines,

a council of feathers endeavors and fails

to make headway—

a house divided

and writhing with chatter,

swapping branches and stances

on the afternoon's matters

to the smell of powdered French toast.

And the pigeons below,

left—at most—to dried worms

and their own, blue-collared devices,

beget zephyrs down-street—

hectic efforts to greet me: a pale crisis,

hopping crosswalks like batter.

I pay no attention to their paltry convention

tightly gathered ‘round slim pickings at the curb,

their treasure obscured (though surely the trappings

of a castaway morsel once sweet—

perhaps the lost seed of Atlantis,

or a long-abandoned waffle crust)...

...until they stir up,

like a blood-hungry dust,

to reveal my wet flesh in the gutter,

half-dismembered and picked over thrice.

I turn away

on the quills of a shudder

until they recover—

A slow glitch

in paradise.


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