The wrecking ball hits the building—
warm steam rises from the corned beef sandwich—
a man with a dark beard, cursing,
kicks a small dog half-way across the street
as the old wall groans
So the sculptor goes shuffling thru the junkyard.
A woodpecker stashes some walnuts
at the top of a telephone pole.
A woman with curly hair
stands weeping next to a bulldozer.
& now the strange hunger
felt by the fire extinguisher—
the inner monkey banging on its cage
for the sake of the beautiful 12-year-old girl
peering out the back of the Mercedes Benz—
the unskilled heart
out beating in the street
& beating with happy fear in the funhouse
whose mirrors are pre-warped & therefore faithful
even though the building is burning down.
The peak of summer. A sun
that eats away the shoulderblades.
Stephen Kessler’s poems have appeared in various magazines. (Spring 1975)