In another storm
by the fire house near Hunts Point Avenue,
rain ambushed my face in a circle of bullets,
wondered who I’d be if I’d never been born
leaped over concentric rings of darkness
until I could go no further, clutching
a jelly jar filled with grasshoppers,
punched nails for air holes through the tin lid.
After the street lights came on,
I held the honey of their death.
San Mateo, Golden Gate, Richmond, Dumbarton,
intoned the names of bridges,
crickets and frogs falling over each other
in the spring rain.
A cellphone vibrates along the length of a boy’s zipper,
a girl squeezes a rolled-up yoga mat between her thighs,
customers sit at a café, laptops on a tattooed street.
A peddler of iridescent butterfly wings,
sunset caught between power lines,
ginger jar molded by wet hands, the glint of a talisman
one to protect against snake bite,
another, for fertility.
Now I pass through a turnstile.
Scarved. No one looks.
Cheekbones and chin lines. Gone.
Curves and hipbones soft as brioche,
who on this Monday,
the third day of the first week in June
during a year of great bickering
between political parties,
file for social security benefits,
collect my sacrifice
become a recipient
play my number for everything its worth.