Poetry by Angel Nafis, photos by Jane Bruce
Most loyal-est lamppost / glowing without eyes watching / you are a still whole thing. / Quiet testimony you make of the block. / A squad all your own. / When only a few tires sigh across the street / slick / and no shoes to marr or make a new kind of clean. /
No socks in the shoes or feet in the socks to trudge across / Beneath a know-it-all sky already heavy with tomorrow. / The night is here no matter who won’t witness its thick mouth / breathing and breathing. /
You useful kingdom. / Utility gathers at the fringe of you / Not for what you do / but what you beckon. / What your sweep promises. / Like the width of arms that do not fold around person / but can. /
You are Billie Holiday’s Gardenia good. / If I am caught up in a book or bad news / if I am busy fogging up the glass after dawn / You resolute companion. / & How bad perfect to need you even while we sleep. / Impossible town / that belongs to no body / not even yourself. / Constant song that is all my names at once. / And all my father’s names. / City of chairs for him to sit. / City of rivers and mud / that remember. / City of full plates and pidgin / I talk out the side of my lips to keep up with you. /
City of trillion pilgrimages / When no one is beholding you. / You still holding us all.