Poem 155

Bridge kids

the ones who feast on left-overs
in upturned bins and grin
through sooty wooden teeth
overpass-crass, the yellow
cuticles of freedom; trust
funds and red lungs
aching for marboros & skunk
we sunk our feet in, ankle deep
and watched the sun set on some
one else’s sunday! Holiday! to be
young and effortlessly cool
in the night, fireside tinder headlines
and crumpled comic strips
make for shadow puppet slumber.

We live vivid in an instant;
don’t make me grow old with employment
let there be sunrises always on my window,
which is open, which is everywhere
and lay me down under the passing lights
of communter busy with deadlines
watching for nothing out the side
view, knowing only that tomorrow
will be the absolute endless same.

 

From the outside, your music is a blues tune
played over and over to a white moon
with a face like a resting doll,
we watch her while you’re sleeping
in your ninetofive daydreams
and keep her secrets from your policies.
We are well paidfor in sensations,
richly alive while we hitch-hike
across roads others dare not go—for fear
of safety. It’s the poor kids who wear
slacks and blazers: shuffling their papers
staplers and budgets, who will die of loans
and live anonymous in their ambitions.  

Someday, when we are all lined up
in a train station awaiting the arrival
of eternity, you might ask who was happy
and neither class will answer,
but one of us will know.

—ECW

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