The City is Alive!

In response to Richard Lopez and for Mel C. Thompson


Often he called himself “He” as he felt distant from himself__
If “April is the cruelest month,” then its cruelty is its bright sunshine__
He walked into and out of the porn shop with pride__
At the corner of Kearny and California he could no longer look up at the
Fates, they had been watching him though, from a skyscraper__
Walking thru the Financial District he felt small compared to his
generation tapping their $500 toes and talking ‘bout the stock market or
a weekend getaway__
He walks into Wells Fargo on Market Street__
(This poem is happening “now.”)
(Let’s Oppen it up!)
He writes the poem and deposits his $166 state tax refund into his
checking account__
Dances with Saint Patrick in Yerba Buena Gardens drunk on the City__
Pop radio songs pour out of the Virgin Megastore closing sale onto the
shoe shining sidewalk mid-day pedestrian rush hour foot traffic__
UPS brown truck parked one wheel up on the sidewalk blinking its back
yellow lights where a movie theater used to be on the south side of 
Market Street near Sixth Street
__He rolls up his sweatshirt sleeves to catch some sun



Jonathan Hayes

Jonathan Hayes lives in Oakland, California with his wife and their cat, and publishes the long-running American literary journal Over the Transom. His most recent publication is the chapbook Purposeful Accident (Holy&intoxicated, England, 2022). He recommends visiting the Black Panther Party Museum.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Sunday, August 15, 2021 - 22:01