Sunday, October 20, 2019

AUTUMN IN THE CITY

Autumn in the city
is handed off to you faster
than a crumpled paper bag—
no chrysanthemum

without its price-
tag dangling,
no slow rustication of perpetual
rows of grain, of tangled

patches of squash,
no valley slowdance
to Vivaldi of
barn shadows at sunset;

instead, you get
one discreet couplet
of an end-
stopped poem by Sandburg,

one pumpkin-
spiced cup
with your cursive first
name on it from the Starbucks,

one chance to gamble
at the bustling
Sunday afternoon outdoor
commodities exchange floor

in the tiny square
of public park
that borders the cold blade
of elevated train.

You grab it,
hold tight,
and imbibe—slam its heady
brew of oranges,

effervescent
reds and pale pinks, quickly
before passing it
to your immediate right

and stumbling back
bleary toward
another black
and white work week.

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