A transient panhandler scuttles along a sidewalk
towards the affluent dog-walkers
in the vein of paparazzi
A slatternly junkie has a very sharp stride
and averts her gaze until passing out of frame
then is never seen again in direct sunlight
At a lucrative luncheon
incessant perky whispers
deafen the local curmudgeons
Numerous apertures, numerous fixtures:
vape clouds, septum rings, blackout tattoos,
kratom, gluten-allergies, nothing new.
Ashwagandha is in
and testosterone is up:
There’s nightly coital marathons
and genderfluid cosplay parades
and vaginal film festivals of flesh
and phallic maelstroms of men at work
and helicoptering cocks outside the Yoga studio
and DNA sloppily sprayed from Burke to Cherry Street
and congealed linens from chronically single millennials
and virtue signaling up the ass.
The bones and sinews
of the Tobacco and Textile Industries
Most of the old mills
have been converted to apostasy:
Into gregarious craft breweries
that only serve hoppy beer.
Into high-ceiling exposed-brick lofts for lease,
not apartments, not condos, but suites,
and one wonders how many people
lost limbs or minds, or even died here.
The nightlife rages on
with ax-throwing hipsters
hoarding the market share,
the local thoroughfare
while spilt privilege slathers the concrete.
Arena lighting and lulls of sound emanate from the ballpark
until the epilogue of unoccasioned fireworks commences
The mad scene coalition strains to slough
dark paraphernalia from the grounds of the Gentry,
the ossified layers of illicit litter underneath
are somewhat reminiscent of a pawnshop parking lot.
The City insists on celebrating itself
Arcadia in a minefield.