The Elizabeth Street Bridge
Put the flannel coat on the chair.
Recall a favorite store window to perfection.
Begin to blend hope with the grittiness
of the red bricks of the next building over.
Dad’s freshly lit cigarette mixes with smells
of frying onion, garlic, dough, potato--
the building rattles as a train goes by.
Stand very quietly after.
Listen for heartbeats.
Silent at dinner. Once excused, run upstairs
to the bedroom. Sketch the cat, one paw
tucked; cat posed good-naturedly as only cats can.
No one laughs or calls meanly.
No one complains about lighting,
and there are no questions of literal
or metaphorical distance.
No one enquiries concerning level of experience,
or asks that something useful, more like a toaster,
be drawn instead. Add the color, the wind,
the breath, the luminiferous aether, the din.
Use a cotton ball to spread it.
Correct the image. In the morning,
throw the poinsettia from last Sunday’s mass
into the icy water flowing below
the Elizabeth Street Bridge.
About the Author: Charles Parsons writes in Akron, Ohio. He is reviewer-in-residence at the Hiram Poetry Review.