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A Poem by Chad

April 2011


Neon pink taxi
door slams
shutting out the heat and humidity
settling in the back seat
staring blankly out the window
the foreign landscape
my temporary home
passes unnoticed --
though absently unaware
through the gap between us
catching just a glimpse
through the rearview
the driver’s features
almost profile
taut skin over prominent forms
orbital ridges
nasal folds
temporal bones
cheek and chin
all in sharp relief --
at the wheel the wrist protrudes
the sleeve drapes
as cloth on a line
veins stand out boldly
on the gripping hand aware
not to stare
just glancing back
to see the fuller man
eyes appraise
examine closely quickly
all available form
at the familiar
brown skin aside
a flash of recognition
knowing understanding
reflected in the window
my own features --
we are one

Oh my wasted face!
do you scare people on the street
or just me?

I am more frail
taking great care
not to fall into the street
before a taxi or hurtling
motor bike
in the dim light
to see the broken sidewalk
which undulates along
haphazardly inviting a crash --
in a world so young
old people are seemingly
left behind by cells
and text messaging
as the pace is fast --
the language sings along
so foreign to my ear
rapid-fire staccato
all lacking comprehensible form --
I am isolated by my age and language
largely ignored by everyone
but the street vendors
who desire little more
then to sell or dismiss me
as not a consumer of their goods
devalued --
I am silent
I am alone.

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This article was provided by 2011 Poetry Month at

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