Arts + Scene » Poetry

Jackhammer Magnet



"It's something about my life," she began —
but just outside the bookstore window,
bedlam reigned. I cupped a hand
behind an ear. "Selling books was all," she said;

I caught that much, then the jackhammers
resumed. Maybe they were re-setting the sewers.
"... and to sleep," she said, during a lull.
"The street is just four feet from my window."

I said I didn't think she lived here.
"I don't!  But they dug up
my street at home, then they started here!"
"You are a jackhammer magnet," I said.
"It's something about my life," she repeated.
She seemed to consider this seriously.  Meanwhile
the drums of war could have been no louder.

Water in her green-glass vase
of wildflowers shimmied for half a minute.
She bought a few old books from me,
speaking mostly by signs, a written receipt.
Her eyes followed me, longingly, out to
my old clunker, an Eden by comparison.
As I pulled away, the thundering resumed.
And even the solidity of rock, I realized,
  shall have no dominion.

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