outside on a workday (20170103)

today there is no smog
no hazy skies
the air bitter and cold
handfuls of clouds
hold up the sky
themselves tiny
thin-stretched hands

the sidewalk belongs
to me and my feet

alone aside from drivers
in their shipping trucks
old cars with windows that
stopped rolling up and down
smashed taillights
what might be bullet holes
smoothed over with bondo

even the guys at the
aerospace building
won’t come out and smoke
at the curb today

i make myself walk
faster to warm up
and get the hell off the street

reflections on walking the dog (20160824)

i’m afraid of the last time
i’m going to walk the dog
it’s not that he’s sick
mind you
he seems to be
in pretty good health
though he’s missing most of his teeth
and has more years on him than any dog
i’ve ever had

but it’s the not knowing the last walk
will be the last walk
that grinds its teeth
in my ear when i lean over to pet him
or wave the air frantically
because of his secret gas attack
so secret
that if it’s silent
he doesn’t even notice it

so i have to remind myself
to not get impatient
or tug at the leash
when he want’s to stop
and sniff ever message on our walk
i don’t want the last thing
i said to him to be
hurry up