It was unusually sunny the day the Body went walking
the city, its sidewalks glaring, so bright the Body bought
sunglasses gold and black from a side-stand, bodies
passing as hands passed the glasses to the Body for her cash.
They were white hands, white as the red eyes red
with swelling and eyeing the Body
were red (amid the clicking of coins
clicking almost like song-sung). Her husband was waiting
at home for her, had a surprise
ready: Beloved! Look, tickets
to the heights and the depths of the earth,
he rehearsed, pacing the floor of their bedroom
with strong joy steps.
But when her thoughts turned to him she was bored
and wandered on farther. At the corner, her eye
caught sight of fluorescent light (almost as bright
as the sun, but not quite, just more neon)
that spelled Come in to Havana, Drinks only $5, and before
the red hand gave way to the white man, her pinky
had flown, jumped ship, aborted
and was making its way across the street-crossing.
What the hell? she wondered, wandering
Hell’s Kitchen indeed, passing a restaurant—
Brazil Brazil—felt her foot fall off
and inch, heel-to-toe, toward the door. She started fuming
a little, limping along (I look like an idiot) mumbles made
under her breath so the passing ears
of the passing bodies wouldn’t hear, when
her lips and her tongue cried, Be right back! and jumped
from her face to share a man’s friendly free cigarette.
She sat on the bright sidewalk under her dark thoughts
and moaned from an open throat
quietly; it had been a bad day.
She sat, till the back of her head burned, till a shadow
sunk the sun and seemed to say, What happened?
and her husband pressed his arm around her shoulder, whose arm
had meanwhile tired of her groaning and gone to play.