by Lisa Zaran
To keep her balance she counts light poles,
not pedestrians. Not pigeons or padlocks
on fences or police cars. Or buses or homeless
men with moth-eaten beards.
To keep her sanity she wears vanilla scented
body spray and long lilac maternity shirts,
although she is too old to get pregnant,
she likes how the material billows in the breeze.
To keep her purpose in tact, her focus, her core
taut, she manipulates the balance between what
happy means and what happy actually is. She reads
poetry and eats pizza and drinks red wine and actually
is happy when she likes what she feels, when emotion
meets equality, when motion matches indifference.
When she isn’t so goddamn affected by homeless men
with moth-eaten beards holding sad signs and venereal
diseases and especially when her long lilac maternity
shirt billows like God-struck wings raising her above
the pigeons the police cars the padlocks on fences,
the city buses which carry passengers past light poles
too numerous to count.
David Evans, Feature Editor