Rise and Fall of the One-Man Empire
I unsolved a few mysteries
(a good night’s work)
then strutted the morning streets
with a candle in my head,
half-believing that everyone was
watching me pass,
That lordly stride!
Those mystical lips!
The sky rolled its eye up over the avenue,
the city shuffled its deck of people,
and I blessed a park bench
with my presence,
slid my gaze around
and waited for a miracle,
Honey sunlight drizzled in waves.
A sunken woman
drinking beer solo
stole looks at me.
Some decaying rockers argued about chemicals in vodka.
Planes left trails of white droppings.
A tragic teenage couple embraced.
And the sunken woman began to sob
so loud it echoed across the park
and somehow she knocked over her bottles
and they came clattering smashing down
and the pigeons launched and wheeled
but her crying was louder and harder,
and the sobs slammed into bricks,
broke bank windows,
boomed over river boats,
bounced over factories and parliaments,
splashed hissing into the Great Pacific garbage patch.
It took me a while to find my body again
but there it was, slumped on a bench:
not much more.
I smoked weed
and wandered around in music,
a sleepless weirdo
timing my steps to eerie beats,
side-eying the sadder women,
the black-lidded and serious women.
They looked at me
and saw only the city.