street art (detail) colonia del sacramento, uraguay
by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
breaks a twig off a tree living in a brick-
lined plot on a city street. She slaps
the twig across a brownstone's iron gate,
absorbs the rumble back to bone.
She hears birdsongs among taxi horns, adds
a grunt, a hum, silence; she spots a cat
on a stoop, pets it in passing; she swerves
around dog feces, jumps a grating; she
eyes the sky, like a Sybil ...
To burst, rot, rust, all in its turn,
by overripening or contrivance, back to
animal, mineral, vegetable. Ancient game.
All the same. Innocence doesn't
matter. Ignorance doesn't matter. Greed
doesn't matter. Survive
matters, measured by unattended clocks.
Not meant, not mean
just are, here
... interpreting signs
tickling arm hairs, scraping the edge of a nail.
And with cat, gate, feces, twig,
she dies a little
in the natural order of things,
ikon of the unsponsored,
as natural as things get.
~ first published in Lynx Eye