Curtis Rogers: After Hours, Philadelphia, the Discovery of Fire

           We cut our sleeves over
   fountains. Gathered newspaper in parks of glue traps & Pan
                                            figurines. Stubborn,
 slouching, red as Hopper.
            We danced between the grains of security tapes, circled wall
      clocks with charcoal throats.
                      In dresses smuggled from high-rises, shirts
                 pungent with spit-shine. Window
                                               displays exposed
 their pressure-points to us.
                       We gutted
                             dust-kilned diners, jockstrapped in
           alleys where permissions
                                                     were insults—sober
 & sickly ochre. Light Marlboros & menthol
               Marlboros, tagged along to stock boys
    with skunked lambics, stouts,
                                      Russian IPAs. To their frat houses,
     to ponds smoldering with koi. We set
                                       the economy of plastic
                             bags & favors. Somebody knew
 somebody’s weed guy, the worst in
       the city. Muscle memory,
                          gelatin. Punishment
                               of the art museum’s frieze dictated
     by basement graffiti: keep it difficult, report solutions. We found
                            daybreak in the dubstep
                                 clubs, where brilliant brass & copper
                split the floors in spokes. Where we first got
                                           the taste for straws to
             draw from, & the slats of a healing cage.

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