Poem Every Day in July 2: The Sidewalks of Our Suburb


The sidewalks of our suburb
have been unearthed. At night, we fall
into the ruts, the soles of our shoes
touching the village’s guts––
black dirt and pale gravel
that grumbles and ails, even dry-heaves
beneath us as we go.

Beside our trek, buzzing green lanterns
hover single-file in front yards.
They cast just enough of their thin moonlight
for us travellers among the peeled-back veins
of the upturned cement.
We walk through the yawning rifts
yearning to be healed with grey,
the newly-constructed rank highways
for wingless moths,
for curling worms, for earwigs.

The lanterns castigate the street
for being so weak. Its wretchedness
is now exposed, sobbing naked
and raw, beaten down where people walk.
Daises, afraid, wither away into shadow;
rotting leaves claw at our toes
with their blind hope. The mewling sidewalk
lacks shame even beneath
our baleful gaze. We pray for pavement.

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