North Street

Emily Pulfer-Terino

Wind flustering my curtains with its gasoline
and pollen and the window of that bridal shop
have married in a sadness. Spring is relief
and struggle. Street musicians crooning
on the cinema steps down there must feel it too;
petals falling, gathering about them, beige
as aged lace. Sitting at an empty easel,
watching mountains turn to evening sky—
feels like this Joni Mitchell song in which she tries
to buy a mandolin but thinks about a wedding,
boats receding, someone dressing, someone
taking her own life, that kind of conversation.
I start to make some vows: to get more sleep,
head south again, play guitar, get outside more,
not to die alone. Through moving curtains:
ancient banks and lit-up storefronts, dim hills,
people still in t-shirts, playing, or just listening.