Under the Citie's Skin
All is quiet tonight; this city is a sleeping body.
Downtown on the corner of Esophagus and Stomach
the homeless remains of a discarded burger
snores noisily on a bench, covered by a tattered blanket,
the insignia of a hospital, impossibly blue, peering through
half shut eyelids, always fearful of intruders or the law.
It looks from a passer by’s view like a motionless heap
yet deep in its inner workings the pipes and tubes of
this metropolitan individual are buzzing a jazzy
symphony of activity. Platelets and corpuscles rush
through veins and capillaries packing oxygen and
glucose into gaily colored cans and cartons, life for
our bearded, unwashed protagonist when he stirs on
his sidewalk, wants his breakfast.
Traffic is beginning to thicken the streets as the sun’s
first rays paint a sky pink and orange, flickering
our hero’s eyes as buildings become visible; skull,
collarbone, tibia and fibula creaking into
Time to move on. To seek a refuge under a bridge,
in an empty lot or half constructed building. City of
peristalsis and urinary rivulets. City of slow moving
blood. City of hunger and rumbling. City of blisters
and untrimmed nails. City of despair, of unremembered
childhood. Somewhere a patch of frozen ground
awaits this body’s final resting place.
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© Johnmichael Simon