salmon, shinola, shit, sunshine, & sacrilegious
Summer showers through the night
erased the humidity that had for so long
filled the city from the subway
to the tip-tops of buildings.
And the new day felt fresh
on his lips, fresh in his lungs.
The sunshine radiated through
the neon trimmed clouds.
As his salmon colored boots
clickity-clanked on the cracks
in the sidewalk
he thought of his daughter
raising her hand
for kindergarten roll call.
He thought of his wife
stirring the cream into her coffee.
The smell of the trees in Central Park
urged him to change his route to work.
Stepping onto the grass felt foreign,
as if he never had a childhood of his own.
With the car horns now honking behind him
he began to run.
He ran until his heart thumped
up to his temple and he stood
starring into the pond. At his reflection.
Not thinking about his boss,
about the dog shit he slid in.
His eyes resembled his father’s
except the distain had not yet
sunk into his pupils.
The clouds darkened above him
and he didn’t know if
it was the humidity sneaking
back into the air or the echoes
of his father’s words sticking
to his skin.
“To marry this woman is sacrilegious.”
He shook the voice from his mind,
dropped a penny into the pond
and walked back toward the street.
His boots became streaked with green
as he dragged them
through the dirt and grass.
He scuffed his way to a shoe shiner.
And again his father’s words rested on his ears,
“This is sacrilegious,” the little man said
with disgraceful shoes in his face.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
Lucky for him though,
he loves the smell of shinola
because it makes him think
about his wedding day so he smiled.
It makes him think about his funeral too.
He felt drops of rain begin soaking
into his hair.
He tossed the rest of his change
in the bucket.