A Day in the Hood

by Cornelia Rohde

Today is like any other day.
Some windows are open. Some windows are shut.
The dog wants to go out, or wants to come in.
The coffee is hot. Under the blue sky,
a char passes by, shoed in fuchsia,
the color of bougainvillea spilling above her.
A man in a Panama hat drapes himself across
two equatorial youth bantering in French,
who lift their noses to the scent of bergies’
stale sweat blended with woodsmoke.
One bin-picker doffs his plucked pirate’s hat.
Jani sits on a park bench strewing seeds to pigeons;
her six dogs as creaky and cranky as she is,
indifferent to the fashion shoot of a skeletal model,
sculpted into a transparent sheath dress,
her breasts painted blue; unfazed
by the tall, broad man swinging his bum-length
dreadlocks past the deep-throated singer
lifting hymns into an old oak tree’s limbs.

Tonight, I will look over the rooftops at the new moon
melting off the edge of Lion’s Head.


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