Curtis Rogers: After Hours, Philadelphia, the Discovery of Fire
We cut our sleeves over
fountains. Gathered newspaper in parks of glue traps & Pan 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
their pressure-points to us.
dust-kilned diners, jockstrapped in
alleys where permissions
& 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,
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.
Tags: Contributors 90, Poetry, Poetry 90