On The Pavement
The only monument
to the careening weep of car
was bled in black on pavement.
It washes in the warm rainshower,
it will leave no pain, no
remembering in the street.
Streets forget no more than remember.
Streets simply never sense
the images they might forget, recall,
or distort. The faces of streets
soon take their character
from the things they wear,
in black tar, in rubber remnants,
in the sprinkle of glass
flickering in mobile streetlight.
So the consuming crunch of car
body in red paint against the wall
is rouge for a dark face.
Streets wear the makeup mute,
and protest only to the jackhammer.
Published in Great River Review (1978)