shadow

 

The shadow

of a cragged tree stands

 

sharp and complete

across an old apartment building,

 

though my angle

of vision

 

blinds me

to the shadow’s tree.

 

*

 

pigeon

 

A pigeon flies toward the cornice

of an old tenement building then

 

draws up short, startled by something

it finds where it was about to land

 

and it flaps in the air, in place, in

a flurry of disbelief; then it either

 

attacks or shoots away

but I don’t notice

 

because it sticks in my mind

as stuck in midair, in shock,

 

unable to square

with a truth

 

I can’t

see.

 

*

 

deli

 

The royal blue

deli awning, dripping

 

with rain, says:

Cold Sodas, Newspapers,

 

Sandwiches, Hot Coffee, Beer,

Play Lotto Here.

 

The cramped, over-lit, under-cleaned

deli itself

 

crunching these commonplaces

together in

 

the dark

reflection of

 

my deli-stocked

face.

 

*

 

mirror

 

The acoustic guitar

hanging on the café wall

 

behind me

hangs halved in a mirror

 

on the far wall

before me, a mirror

 

in whose frame is tucked

a curled, faded photograph

 

of a smiling young woman, a mirror

crossed by cropped reflections

 

of staff and customers

coming and going

 

until it empties

in the night.

 

by Mark Belair

Mark Belair’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, The Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East and The South Carolina Review. His latest collection is Watching Ourselves (Unsolicited Press, 2017). Previous collections include Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015); Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize multiple times. Please visit www.markbelair.com

%d bloggers like this: