from Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001–2015

Exchange

City of the future
in which each subway station’s stairs
lead to the ground floor
of a casino/
mall.

            —

What counts
is the role
defined for each piece
by a system of rules saying
how it can move,
not the stuff
the piece is made of.

            —

In the intersection,
a muscular, shirtless man
with small American
flags tied to each wrist—
so that he looks
like a wrestler—
pushes, no, shoves
then catches a stroller
piled high with plastic bags—
his stuff.

            —

City of the future,
where a tramway to the top
of a peak
opens onto
a wax museum
in which
Michael Jackson
extends one gloved hand.