Magnificent Things Surely Will Come

Winter, 2012–2013 / No. 29

This summer, streets reek of defiant glamour, and hot-

pink fingernails like talons scratch the air. I play Shirley

Bassey for the strangers who slither in with sangria and

stories no one should hear, and endure the cruise of

chemical Kit Kat clouding Sterling Avenue, my conscience.

This summer, you kill yourself while I job search,

wander Walmart’s maze of aisles, the devastating weight

of stuff; and George Noory talks, each night, to a guy

about the Antichrist, and men, each morning, navigate

the slippery pink roof of another new condo complex.

This summer, mourners manoeuvre conversation that

flutters then darts away, and vases of professionally arranged

daisies and chrysanthemums stand at attention, while

at the harbour, around the corner from the wake,

ducks, seagulls, Canada geese, and swans frolic on

their private beach, mingle as easy as swingers at a party.

They joke about the kid who flings his kite at the sky, then

runs like hell. They guffaw at his father, who picks up

the pieces, pulls at an invisible string, and runs too,

calling, “It’s hard to get right the first time. But it’ll be O.K.,”

because that’s what a father has to believe.

This summer lies dangerous like exposed wire snaking

into a future where police cars burn, World Cup soccer

rages, and Teenage Dream posters obstruct all Blockbuster

entrances. I watch the last chrysanthemum collapse,

each petal a single flower falling that I will never catch,

as women and men lean too far off the street’s concrete

planters, their bodies begging for air, for water to quench

the grit’s thirst, for this urgent lingering to go on, for the

magnificent things that surely will come.