Walking 29th in Baltimore, 1983
Walking 29th in Baltimore: tired, self-pitying
because I wasn't a bird or something able
to pass the snow-bend
a woman passed by, to my left shoulder
flitting her hands outspread like wings
of hawk or sparrow: what are you doing, I said
I'm flying she said
Just found out I don't have cancer
going to see my baby boy
just found out I ain't gonna die...
Now, if I dove into your eyes as moonlight dives
through the screened porch, spooling
to puddles on the round of your belly where
I trace the dark hairline
like a curtain's frill;
If I dove into your eyes
would I fly like that woman, would I
rather be a bright gash of red
on the concrete like the lavender smudge
on the hat's brim
that woman in Baltimore wore...
(Too much food, too little sleep.
Too much water, too little chocolate: perfect—
because paradise is here on earth, I may as well
get used to the idea.)
Carolyn Srygley-Moore lives in Upstate New York with her husband and daughter. Her work has appeared widely in journals to include Antioch, Mimesis, The Pennsylvania Review, and the antiwar anthology Cost of Freedom. She is a Pushcart nominee and her digital chapbook Enough Light on the Dogwood is available here.