A View of the Clock

basketsThere are two levels on this bridge:
tricky climbing outside the track
or trespassing through back gardens.
Oh rarely do I breathe the freedom sweet
to stroll the workday morning street,
pick up a pain au chocolat, a cinnamon roll,
like lucky cats in stovepipe hats.
Howzabout never? “Big hands,
big hands,” the chorus rose, though
who was singing no one knows,
while we climbed the cables so high
I felt my stomach drop. So many
Volkswagens in this town, he said,
we buried our clothes beneath fallen leaves.

A boy, I crouch in the shadow
of the rabbi’s study to watch
tattered old greybeards with glossy
shopping bags from long defunct
emporiums shamelessly scavenge for stuff.
I toss out the remains of stale coconut
cake and scrape the crust from an oven
that keeps growing the more I scrub
until I can walk right inside.

He had a baby doll’s hand
coming out of his pocket,
the fingers wiggled continuously
as he pretended to be oblivious
of the unnerving effect,
laid out on a summer deck
in a grey suit he never owned.
He tried to leave me his watch
but I said, put it back,
it isn’t time.

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