by Harrison Candelaria Fletcher
pulsing white blossoms of manhole steam / three days out from April snow / sidewalk stains marijuana smoke / gridlock horns construction hammers / an upturned palm a dry-mouth stammer / “help me out, man, with a little change” / your apology muffled your apology strained / in the folds of his face your expression reflected / “ok, then, how about a new perspective” / he laughs when he says it but the line still cuts / through your three-layered mask smelling cigarette butts / so you lean on a wall near a man breathing sighs / with two fingers rubbing a cross between his eyes / a cowboy sings beneath a one way sign, “I’m sorry that I made you cry” / a bus bench old woman silhouetted black / cherry tree pink against her back / you ask yourself what perspective means / an attitude an outlook a way of being / all around so much you missed / the man beside you unfurls his fist / a fairy girl leaps from the curb to sing, “Don’t I have the most magnificent wings” / a whirlwind of pigeons an angel of dust / yellow carnations light pole rust / to the sun a hooded woman cries “lotion, lotion, lotion” / with coconut scent her bare calves glisten / a thawing is coming you almost feel it / the cowboy sings as if to reveal it / “a love to last more than one day” / “a love that’s love won’t fade away” / you resist the rhyme almost too cliché / “a love that’s love won’t fade away” / when the old woman rises / your numbness cracks / with shuffling steps she begins to dance. /
Harrison Candelaria Fletcher is the author of the award-winning Descanso for My Father and Presentimiento. His work has appeared widely in such venues as New Letters, TriQuarterly and Brevity. A native New Mexican, he teaches in the MFA programs at Colorado State University and Vermont College of Fine Arts. His new collection of lyric essays, Querencia, is forthcoming in 2022 from the Machete Series at Mad Creek Books.
SLAG GLASS CITY · Volume 7 · June 2021
Header image by Jeffrey Beall.