Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I’ve felt myself changed simply walking 
into shade along a street; I’ve come suddenly 
upon the scent of snapdragon or heard 
a distant car crash and found my every thought 
stalled at the gate.  And when I read 
that honeybees are dying in thousands, 
an epidemic no one can explain, I wondered, 
Have I forgotten something?  Who am I now? 
There are theories, there are whole histories passing away, 
but I can’t describe them.  So, from the next table, 
bits of conversation break into my soliloquy 
or my neighbor’s phone rings through the walls 
and I join a dialogue with a stranger.  To call any of it 
a change of scenery or costume is to misunderstand. 
The world is not a stage and the honeybee 
is not the soul it once symbolized.  This is why 
I’m fascinated by bricked-in windows, 
old tenement buildings throughout Jersey City 
with their view closed up, so I daydream 
about who, on a hot summer day, leaned on that sill 
breathing in the confusion of car fumes and flowers, 
himself daydreaming until his elbows ached 
and he remembered there was a clogged drain 
in the bathroom and he turned back, 
pausing for his eyes to adjust to the dark room.

By Michael T. Young 

First published in The Louisville Review, No. 68

To visit Mr. Young's website please click here
Image source here