by Lynne Potts
Flung fog-net drapes over buildings and corner shops,
low-grade hum, as the old and lonely ones in iron beds
turn on their sore sides, traffic lights swinging bloodshot
over streets, chipped curbs, gutter-grate teeth and sludge.
Someone with a worn hand takes the towel from a hook
by the mirror, splashing water to tiles cracked at the head.
Nothing ever happens wafts in the air that won't lift, until
four a.m. comes to push bar stools aside, mop floors,
and an old woman, entering the café, unclasps
a cotton coin purse to count what might be a meal,
swivel door swallowing air from the street, rubber
flap shushing a fluttered waitress raising the blinds.
It's dawn in another city and you are just off the bus
with the usual irresolution: you alone are here, and morning.
Poems by Lynne Potts have appeared in The Paris Review, Southern Humanities Review, Oxford Magazine, Cumberland Review, and many other journals. She has an MFA from Columbia University and was poetry editor of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. She was a featured poet on WKCR New York and a presenter at the 2006 Michigan Poetry Festival. (4/2007)