Baltimore, Moments after the Rapture

May 21, 2011

I made a woman last night
Up on the fourth storey of a brick building
below the deck on the roof
the one where we stared into the harbor
and the financial district
and laughed
because their God had forgotten to kill us

And, as we rise
and pull the denim back on our legs
give a final kiss
call for the elevator,
she gives me back to the streets
gives my eyes back to wandering up
tracing the old stone of the alleys
and the skinny way they lead

At Cross Street, a true Hon makes me a cheesesteak
examines the red in my eyes
and laughs at the lager on my breath
I laugh back
tell her the night was kind to me
and the whole world, indeed
she throws in a half pound of potato salad on the house

The horses are running at Pimlico today
and the crowd in Federal Hill is swelling in the bars
fumbling their arbitrary bets
wearing their dressing hats, some in irony, some in earnest,
some forgetting where they left theirs at all
They seem to know too
seeing as they’re ten hours away from the same walk home
so I nod when they raise their glasses

Taylor is at work when I get back to Patapsco
Pat is calling saying he won’t make it today
and Brian is dealing with the landlord
tersely on the phone
Athina is brushing her curls,
warm from the evening
cold for the morning

In Washington, a politician is having brandy with breakfast
In Philadelphia, a transvestite barters for her taxi fare
In Secaucus, the Hasidim are bothering with the ticket machines
as I collapse into the couch
and thank this city again and again

Jerard Fagerberg is a non-believer of the pigeonhole and a champion of the First Church of the Open Source. He received a degree in creative writing from Loyola University Maryland, where he founded the Greyhound Collective Poetry Revival. He is also a two-time Academy of American Poets Prize honoree and has recently been published in Boston Poetry Magazine and Phobos. Currently, he serves as an editor and graphic designer for Manik Music.

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.