by A.M. Broadous

June 2019

Defined by our unseeing

eyes. A flimsy cocoon beneath

the overpass, shuddering

silhouettes of cardboard.


I want to hear these lost voices,

learn these names—perhaps

Adam, Deborah, Joshua—

now amnesia, now sleeping 


bags on concrete, shopping

carts, their wheels ground

down to little black

squares. They glide around


cars, specters at a junction

directing traffic that never

stops, where a plea falls

numb and cold to


the earth like a corpse.

They yearn for confirmation,

a belief in their existence.

They may shout Kiss


to get their point across,

shake down dumpsters

for aluminum cans, parking meters

for spare quarters, nickels—


any metal that comes within

earshot and flows effortlessly

through the ether. A noise

without pause, a birdsong


in its beautiful crescendos, its

harmonies. And I can almost

hear it now, nestled firmly in the

shelter of our open ears.