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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

arthritic wakefulness.


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



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