The Body Fails in a Foreign City

A poem for Sunday

A view into a dimly lit room with a bright sky and a car reflecting onto the window
Ernst Haas / Hulton Archive / Getty

The sick poet peels
fruit, watching the city wake
from the hotel glass.

Street signs say ONLY
ONLY STOP—the tree buds don’t,
the garbage bags don’t.

The taxi driver
mentions Kerouac to soothe
your grief in his car.

A shadow glimmers
on the sidewalk. A bird turns
its head east & west.

The waitress brings bread,
a whole sourdough loaf, says,
Darling. Sorry. Here.

The green truck wakes you.
Before you slit the curtain,
you don’t predict green.

Though you didn’t ask,
the concierge brings ginger tea.
Dawn is cold, but less.

This is another
poem for timely kindness.
Blossom-like. By God.