Ariel Gordon

Nine months: swelling and swollen

In the front street birds slide and pick at early morning
the whorls of my ears busy
with their spring fling song of staked territories
shreds of shell and exultation -

remind me again that this is on schedule
like the cross-town wail of the first train
like yesterday's strikes of rain and sun that inflated my ankles
as though they were only ever slack inner tubes
waiting for this summer
for me to rise and resume this bloated ride

and I'll listen for the pressurized float and glide

of another day

In the front street the bus finds the dip where showers collect
the cobbles wetted down for a single mid-afternoon hour
spraying coins of dirty water up and down my legs
spring a currency none of us can spend
not the man rooted like a dandelion
in the gummy grit of spring
not the community cops that go jovial when they see him -

remind me again how the cops had stripped down bunches of lilacs
instead of guns in the small of their backs
leaves wilting against the uniform belief
that something can be done that there will be more
than bare branches and suckers next year
and I'll assume the solid cast of poured plaster
the soon-to-split ripeness
of another day