Rush Hour Sluice

John A. Nieves


The sidewalk walkers slide their serrated
stares across dawn. Down the block
the traffic signal is out. The police haven't
arrived yet, so the honking and creeping drowns out
the boot steps and the new day chatter. Hello
say the newspapers, even now as they are fading.
Hello cry the answering machines and cable boxes
and children writing cursive as they pirouette
into memory, into archaeology. I check my phone
to see when the rain is expected to start while the weather
man hails the only cab in sight. The change in pockets
elegizes itself with a clink clink that sounds so much
like a door chain sliding into place and the magazines
stand and beg us to please not watch the last page turn.