Somewhere Along the Levee

 

a homeless man

dances in a seamless

black coat. the sounds of his

shoes combine and divide in time

on the pavement. his figure and his shadow

figure follow the strictness of the street, combining

only to rapidly divide, and meet on the grass again. in the light,

in the irreducible muscle, metronome of his steps, his small act of confronting

an infinitesimal

 

 still-ness

begins again.

 

an inert grocery cart contains all he owns. rusted

collection of cans piled up in a staid, graffiti-

 

cart. he understands this like gravity.

all he’ll ever own of this land

and his brothers.

 

he shoots the cart out into the dark

away from himself, and closes this

distance, anew in a sequence of

steps that make no sound.

 

the feet of an accordion player

find this man, the dancer,

at dusk. the instrument

sloops down like the spine

of the morning. as

they move to touch

him, shadows

collapse.

 

*previous version of this poem published in Ellipsis