Tuesday, September 7, 2010

7. Main Street

George's Flowers,
in business
on this block for 20 or 30 years
is suddenly gone
and the building is for

The exterminator
a few blocks down
also very recently
and that building is for

Across the street
the Asian market and 99 cent store burned
but they gutted
the building
and seem to be trying to

There are at least 10 churches
and a botanica
on this end of Main -
I was baptized in one of them

Half the churches
are in storefronts now,
maybe there's room
for two

It just turned 6 o'clock and
one of the fortunate ones
with a steeple
sings out with its chimes for a minute
and then

I'm in the bar
across the parking lot
writing this and
drinking one, maybe two
but stopping there

There's a soldier wearing utilities in here
an old man with a dull eye and cane
and the bartender

For a moment they watch a man
in black and white
sinking in quicksand

The old man is talking to the soldier
loudly about crack (a competing religion)
crime, tornadoes and hurricanes...

"It's gonna happen!"

He says he carries a gun at night
and the soldier changes the channel
to CNN

Maybe they can tell us what's going on

When that fails
he changes it
to baseball

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