Passing People on the Street
To think of where their lives will bring them is
to be without breath of your own, for that
thought will take it from you, leaving you gasping
for air. The young man with his arm around
the girl who looks at him as if he were
a walking god will one day lie in bed
catheterized. And she will see her face
in a plate glass window, and wonder who she is,
this woman uninhabited by love,
living alone on the past’s small pension.
will be an old fool, wanting to rush in
to save them, as the buildings of their bodies
topple into dust—ruins, long forgotten
temples of a city of the dead.
By Kelly Cherry
Recipient of the 2012 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize
Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press
from God's Loud Hand by Kelly Cherry.
Copyright © 1993 by Kelly Cherry.