the day I leave detroit for good
I see a woman jump from a tenth story fire escape

I close my eyes and she hangs in the air
as if the earth
had been pulled out from under her

she finds the sidewalk on cass avenue to be
as I have found it:
not always friendly
but honest

some of us will collapse at the sight of her
we are as mute as the living ever get

I see her eyes are fixed on something very far away
her body heaves like a broken machine
her fluids no longer keep to their conduits

she will be nineteen forever

she will be on her back
and still clutching a purse
when the ambulance comes

I will answer one more question
for the official report

I will cling to the earth for three seasons
before I pack up my things

but that is the day
I leave detroit for good
Poems 3
Words directory