Here’s a picture:
Looking down a street
on a sidewalk, cracks filled with grass.
A stop light hangs from a pole waving,
about fifty feet down the street,
followed by another, and another, and another…
the lights fade into infinity.
A line of buildings, dating 1850s and up,
stand guard over the street -lights
Roofs whistle in the wind.
I’m walking down that side walk,
hadn’t taken a bath
nor changed clothes in months.
I was hungry,
There’s something about eating real food,
freshly cooked, still steaming.
Stuff that’s got a smell,
A stolen apple was man’s first food.
There’s a grocery store,
with apples and other fruits
in wooden bends out front.
I studied the restaurant across the street,
while I sat on the curb eating my apple.
It’s windows thrusting out,
With rusted iron bars covering ‘em,
thick brick walls, straight up three stories,
gargoyles and lions cling to the brick walls
razor wire surrounds the edge of the roof,
which was covered with trees and flowers.
There was food there.
the Stomache discusses
and advises me.
I found myself on the side of the street
with the restaurant,
standing in front of it’s door,
made of glass and metal bars
an inch apart up the door.
There is a crack quarter way down
in the middle of the door was a sign,
with Busboys and Dishwashers
written with a Sharpie.
I threw the apple core into the street,
pulled the door open,
and entered into a long hallway
lined ceiling to floor
with pictures of just about everything.
The hallway emptied into a large room,
a register stood guard at the end.
I turned to the left and
glancing over the white table clothed tables,
The bar held up the far wall.
My attention’s drawn away
by a black-haired oriental woman.
She wore a long thin silk black dress
with a V-shape cut
exposing the crevice of her breasts.
“May I help you?”
She asked in her Chinese English.
My eyes lowered, sheepishly.
“I’m looking for a job, Mame.”
Her small hand touched my chin,
tilted my head vertically forty-five degrees.
Eyes, deep well brown,
“What’s your name?”
‘So you look for job?”
I moved my head slightly up and down
I was frightened and startled by this woman.
The first woman,
who’d spoken to me in a civil tone in a long time.
I wasn’t sure how to act.
“What job you want?”
“Busboy…?” she closed her eyes.
She silently examined me.
I thought she was reading my aura..
I’d never spoken to a Chinese person.
I was always afraid.,.
I knew their books
their philosophies their poems.
I didn’t have anything important to say.
I was about to turn around and leave,
believing I ‘d made a fool of myself.
Then She spoke.
“I think, you do. You hungry?”
I’d swear there was a halo over her head,
this angel of a woman,
who guided me through white vested tables,
her hand gingerly pressing my lower back,
to steer me to a small table
in the corner of the restaurant beside the bar.
It had two chairs circumventing it,
a burned out candle,
papers spread about,
and an ash tray full of cigarette butts.
She pointed to one of the chairs waited.
Words were useless at that point.
I sat down, gawked at her waited.
She smiled, turned around,
Headed for the stainless steel door
on the other side of the bar.
I watched her move,
quick smooth gentle cat steps.
Her hand stretched outward
as she glided through the door.
It swung violently back, hiding her.
I reached into the ashtray,
pulled out a cigarette butt,
and lit it.