Under a Billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton

Summer, 2015 / No. 35

Under a billboard at Bathurst and Eglinton

Using nothing but my eyes

I bought some clouds—

Because they were big and self-sufficient

But I bought them too for protection—

Since a friend of mine

Once safely walked this same street

Under similar clouds

They passed over the same sidewalks she passed over

But the past can’t be touched, and you can’t touch clouds

And there’s something wrong inside me

And the clouds might solve it . . .

I bought them also because they’re grey without being depressing—

And slow, but not in a way that makes me impatient

Because having nowhere to be or go

Doesn’t stop them from being or going

They travel like jokes

So I accept them as natural

See how they activate my wit

Without taking credit

Because they ask nothing

And pull me gently away from

The great loneliness

To which no one gets accustomed but the clouds.

JonArno Lawson is the author of several books, including Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box, Enjoy It While It Hurts, and, most recently, Sidewalk Flowers (with the illustrator Sydney Smith). Last updated summer, 2015.