Sunday, July 17, 2016

In a Breath

HIGH noon. White sun flashes on the Michigan Avenue
     asphalt. Drum of hoofs and whirr of motors.

     Women trapsing along in flimsy clothes catching

     play of sun-fire to their skin and eyes.

Inside the playhouse are movies from under the sea.
     From the heat of pavements and the dust of sidewalks,

     passers-by go in a breath to be witnesses of

     large cool sponges, large cool fishes, large cool valleys

     and ridges of coral spread silent in the soak of

     the ocean floor thousands of years.

A naked swimmer dives. A knife in his right hand
     shoots a streak at the throat of a shark. The tail

     of the shark lashes. One swing would kill the swimmer. . .

     Soon the knife goes into the soft under-

     neck of the veering fish. . . Its mouthful of teeth,

     each tooth a dagger itself, set row on row, glistens

     when the shuddering, yawning cadaver is hauled up

     by the brothers of the swimmer.

Outside in the street is the murmur and singing of life
     in the sun--horses, motors, women trapsing along

     in flimsy clothes, play of sun-fire in their blood.

by Carl Sandburg
taken from Chicago Poems

Through All of It