Xu Smith



Four Color Map


In my neighborhood, I have hairstyles for neighbors.
Hi, we never say. The dear dogs
leave tongue marks on the sidewalk.
Men in belts tip the white refrigerators.
Pigeons loosen sunlight from their wings.
In our dreams ghostly trucks collect cardboard.
They pause along the silent streets, pick among the vagrant sleep.
They ride the bounty high behind their headlights.

I trail the girls carrying drunken lilies on their shoulders
as they drag the perfume through the night.
Sí, sí, there is God in our house!
sing flourescent tambourines.
The lilies are slim and swaying,
the girls are drunk with scent.
I follow their arms where lilies glow like stars.
I pass the cardboard tenement gone by morning.

Embrace me with the songlessness of birds
and I will whistle my secrets into the vinegary streets. 
O dirty sidewalk ever in pairs, the strip of history
written in old gum. Sidewalk of the bottom of my shoe,
I ask you, Where is the Bombay Ice Creamery?
Where is Esperpento?
The platinum courts drone evermore
and men weave like dancers in that ballroom of gate link.

Below where night has drained, I hear the train.
In the painted alley there exists a silver escalator.
I am filled with longing for that anonymous thing
as lonely as the moon, those distant blocks chained in light.
Tell me, Where is the Carnelian Room?
Where is the Slanted Door?
Follow me down the avenues of the one-leafed trees,
and wait where the crosswalks cross, on the flag no one sees.





© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review