I walk down Q Street, passing the yellow moth

fluttering over white clover

& the paintings of Marsden Hartley making the rounds,

a boy pouring ketchup over pack of cigarettes,

hidden cameras in the geranium boxes on embassy roof,

umbrella vendors & the barber in clean white tunic and check pants

listening to The Coasters,

the overdressed laundry worker who thinks he owns a railroad,

she in a meadow of picnicking hairdressers surrounded by Japanese maples,

an action figure of Morpheus in the trash,

the flower sellers of Friday afternoons

& the pelt of raindrops on crushed velvet pants in

the aniline dusk of escalators

raising everybody into the sunlight

with the sudden feeling you’ve arrived at the Oscars.

Washington DC


14 June 2003

Spoken word version from Trashtalking Country.

Copyright © 2005 by Jim Cohn.